By Robert Morales

Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach advised that he was still mulling over a final decision as to whether or not he would actually become the new trainer of Antonio Margarito, once the boxer is again eligible to fight. Margarito called Roach about two weeks ago and asked the veteran trainer to take him on.

Margarito in February had his license revoked by the California State Athletic Commission for being caught with illegal hand wraps prior to his Jan. 24 welterweight title defense against "Sugar" Shane Mosley, in which Margarito was stopped in the ninth round at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Margarito is eligible to apply for a new license a  year from the date his license was revoked, which was Feb. 10. Margarito's trainer, Javier Capetillo, also had his license revoked during the same February hearing in Van Nuys, Calif.

"We had a brief conversation and I told him I would think about it," Roach said via telephone from his Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, where he is training Manny Pacquiao for his May 2 fight against Ricky Hatton. "But that's as far as it went."

Margarito is currently appealing his revocation with the idea of getting the decision overturned. Roach said he would not train Margarito to fight in Mexico or any other country outside the U.S. during the 12 month-period that began in February.

"No, that would be a slap in the face to the California commission," Roach said. "And I think that if he did fight in Mexico, he would never get licensed again in the United States."

Ironically, one of Roach's fighters, Rashad Holloway, had suffered a fractured orbital bone during a sparring session with Margarito. After Margarito was caught with the illegal wraps prior to the Mosley fight, Roach had some harsh words to say about Margarito and Capetillo.

"I said if he knew and Capetillo knew (about the hardened inserts in the wraps), they should be banned for life." Roach said. 

“But Margarito said he didn't know. He seems like a stand-up guy. I want to believe him. I think I would know if it happened to me. It's a hard decision to make. Rashad Holloway did have a broken eye socket and I would like to believe it was normal. But then with what happened in the (Mosley) fight, you never know. If I did take him over, there would be no bullsh*t.”

Robert Morales covers boxing for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, and