Should Texas lift ban on Margarito for Pacquaio bout?

August 20, 2010

Expect big Texas yes

Lance Pugmire

Los Angeles Times

The California State Athletic Commission clearly felt the pressure to continue its hard line against Antonio Margarito, as a state attorney reinforced the point that the boxing world was watching this case for precedent's sake.

The commission's thinking was you can't reward a guy who was capable of seriously injuring a fighter in a world-title bout with an even richer payday.

However, Texas doesn't have such concerns. And with a possible multimillion-dollar event with Manny Pacquiao that could draw 70,000 to Cowboys Stadium on Nov. 13, expect it to get done.

At this hour, there is no smoking gun proving Margarito knew about the plaster atop his knuckles when he was caught before a bout against Shane Mosley last year. But without that proof, the argument becomes, "Has a sufficient amount of disciplinary time off passed?"

The answer here is yes.

Stonewall his effort

Steve Svekis

Sun Sentinel

"Hands of Stone" was Roberto Duran's nickname, but Antonio Margarito was trying to make it his reality in his fight last year against Shane Mosley.

Even if one buys Margarito's contention he didn't know a member of his team had wrapped his hands with plaster inserts — and that's a hard sell — he is the head of his team. He is responsible.

Thankfully, officials confiscated the inserts before the fight, but Margarito must pay the price for trying to make his hands even more dangerous.

Any official considering licensing Margarito should consider the RealSports piece on HBO this week linking head injuries to Lou Gehrig's Disease.

The penalty California's boxing commission handed down was fair and other states should follow and say, "No mas."

This fight not big deal

Tim Stephens

Orlando Sentinel

No, but not for the reason you think.

Of course Texas will license Antonio Margarito for a superbout against Manny Pacquiao. Why? Because boxing needs a little controversy and it needs a big fight.

But it shouldn't. And not because of any controversy regarding Margarito's infamous plaster-covered hand wraps. Margarito has served his punishment for that, even if you don't believe his contention he didn't know about the inserts.

This fight shouldn't happen because it gets in the way of the real fight: Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. As long as either of those two great champions has other lucrative options, they can continue to avoid each other.

Margarito vs. Pacquiao has intrigue. It has the makings of a good fight. But it's not an undefeated champion vs. a seven-times-in-seven-weight-classes champion.

He's paid his penance

Azam Ahmed

Chicago Tribune

An 18-month suspension is nothing to sneeze at, but then again neither is lacing your hand wraps with face-pummeling plaster. There's a part of me that thinks he should spend a few more years in the unsanctioned wilderness.

Another part of me believes 1) in redemption and 2) that this shrinking sport needs all the good fights it can get.

He's paid his mandated penance and legally speaking is square with the house. If people have a problem with the timeline, they should take it up with the appropriate boxing commission.

Texas (which has a way of doing things, um, differently from the rest of the country) should sanction the fight.

Margarito should then be careful about his wraps, fight Pacquiao, and hopefully pave the way for the fight everyone wants: Mayweather and Pacquiao.

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