Make Way for the Criminal: Revenge Acheived?

As mentioned in my last post, I have become disillusioned with the boxing world. I feel like a rookie in saying that it was only last week that I really did my homework on the infamous fight between Luis Resto and Billy Collins Jr. The documentary, “Assault in the Ring” really made me think about the first fight between Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto. Were Margarito’s gloves loaded back in 2008? This is a question that answers do not exit at least for now, and yet, this past weekends rematch between Cotto and Margarito still did not provide any closure (in my eyes). Coming into the fight, my concern’s over Margarito’s health and ring aging told me that it would play a big factor Saturday night. It did as Margarito’s right eye began to swell and close. Cotto had a target to hit all night and he was very smart to do so. Cotto threw power punches that were ineffective and never hurt Margarito. This is due to Margarito’s incredible stamina and strong training camp. However, Marga, at 33, is not the same fighter he was in 2008. Margarito came into the ring this past Saturday night with the beating he suffered at the hands of Manny Pacquiao. He hasn’t recovered from that and it was clear when his right eye closed shut. Margarito continued to press forward and wear down Cotto, but Cotto fought smart. He used his height push Margarito, he landed his punches, and moved away from Margarito and did not brawl with him. That was the difference from their fights, Cotto did not sit on the ropes and exchange with Margarito. Many say that Cotto’s face after this rematch was evidence that Margarito used loaded gloves in their first fight. I disagree for 2 reasons: (1) Margarito landed less punches in the rematch and he still left Cotto’s face red with bruises and swelling, there was just no blood on Cotto this time. (2) Cotto fought a fight that he should have the first time they met. Plain and simple. People need to remember that Manny Pacquiao too left Miguel Cotto looking a bloody mess. I’ve said it once and say it again, Margarito was never caught using load gloves. He almost did against Mosely, but to this day, has not been found guilty of using them, he was found guilty of almost using them. Maybe, similar to the Resto/Collins Jr. story another truth will surface about Margarito in the future. But for now, we need to objectively analyze the facts. Cotto fought well this past weekend//Margarito’s health and well being was suspect entering this fight//NY Doctors were going to stop the fight at the first sight of risk to Margarito’s health (there were more doctors there than there usually are)//Margarito was found guilty of attempt and not for actually using load gloves.

Revenge, was it achieved? Did Cotto avenge his 2008 defeat? To this, I say no. I say this because of what Cotto promised the fans. He stated that he would beat down Margarito and make it a war. I love boxing wars, so maybe it’s my bias speaking, but what I saw on Saturday night was a track star running circles and breaking all kinds of track and field records. No doubt Cotto won the fight, but all Cotto did was even up the score at 1 a piece. He got the W, but failed to make a statement in like Margarito did in their first fight.

In reflection, the documentary “Assault in the Ring” does make me think about the possibilities of Margarito having used loaded gloves (not saying that he did have loaded gloves, I stand by what I said above). The fact that boxing generates millions of dollars for only 2 athletes for a 45 minute event tells me to a huge extent that boxing politics and dirty money play a huge roll in events like the Resto/Collins Jr fight and in many other fights that have already taken place. The sad reality that i have come to know is that there are many fighters who have fought with loaded gloves and we simply don’t know about it. It sucks, but the only reality that the fans know (unless it is made public), is what happens in the boxing novela, 24/7 (to an extent) and what happens up in the ring. Outside of that, we can only speculate what takes place in the dressing rooms, who is present in there, who’s money is being used to fund the fights, what political gains lie for the promoters, and what extremes will managers, trainers, promoters, boxers, etc will go to win a fight. The questions are there, but what is being done to find answers and clean up the beautiful sport.

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2 comments

  1. Beautiful, thoughtful commentary.

    What you bring up is something that has indeed plagued the sport of boxing; on the other side of the sheer immensity and fame of the likes of Ali, Iron Mike, and our own Money Mayweather, are athletes that were systematically and unjustly swept under the rug by the same people who brought them to the stage of the ring, left to hold themselves up with only the desperate strength of their integrity and honor. Luis Resto serves as only one example of fighters we may never know. Boxing also leaves its athletes in worse emotional and physical shape, left to fend for themselves when other athletes from other sports might be provided by their team.

    I, too, have been disenchanted by our recent main-event fights. I feel its absolutely essential that we go back and re-evaluate; like you said, tens of millions –> 2 athletes –> less than 1 hour. There’s too much at stake to leave it to the media, we must research, dissect, and integrate many points of views for the story of boxing. This is the space that BloodandMoney lives in, in between the alleys of the streets our favorite fighters grew up in, inside the scars our warriors fight with, and against the gamblers that bleed money.

    Oh and for Cotto? Basically, I agree. Pacquiao really got hurt by Margarito body blows, and I thought it was a great game plan to target a running Cotto’s body. It was a game plan that a blind man could execute, which was what Antonio knew from the beginning. He was afraid to admit it, but he must have knew it was the last real fight he had left, and I was very proud of him, he was in the best shape of his life and at a more comfortable weight. Overall, I admire Antonio’s work ethic, and just hope his hunger can be passed on to future fighters. For the good of his health, I hope the Tijuana Tornado retires.

  2. well said my friend, in time we will see what direction boxing heads in. for now, i too hope that margarito retires. he can be a great role model and mentor for brandon rios. rios just needs to start making weight! lol

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