By Edward Chaykovsky
The tension between Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto is building at a rapid pace, as the fight draws near for December 3rd at New York's Madison Square Garden. For several tense days, a past injury to Margarito's right eye had plunged the fight into doubt. He was forced to have an operation on his damaged eye following his last fight, with Manny Pacquiao a year ago, and could not obtain a licence until he was passed fit to fight.
The New York State Athletic Commission's three-man panel had heard evidence from three doctors, including the one that carried out the surgery to remove a cataract and insert an artificial lense, before finally giving Margarito permission to fight at Madison Square Garden, which is expected to be sold out by fight night.
Cotto, who refused to fight anywhere other than New York, made it known that he will have no problem targeting Margarito's surgically repaired eye when they finally meet again. Cotto doesn't plan to give Margarito any mercy in the ring. The Puerto Rican star is convinced Margarito used illegal plaster-laced handwraps in their July 2008 clash, which the Mexican boxer won with a technical knockout in eleven.
"I'm going to use any kind of advantage I feel I have over him, everything I have in the ring," said Cotto. "I'm going to fight like always, with my heart and my soul. I'm going to do my work. He was playing with the health of somebody else, attempting to kill - he used plaster on his wraps, he used a weapon on me - he has to be treated like a criminal."