Robert Garcia Quips: Beware of Metal in Antonio Margarito's Wraps
Antonio Margarito has claimed no knowledge of the illegal hand wrappings in his gloves that led to a scandal that cost him his American boxing license for more than a year, and the actions of the ex-champion's present trainer, Robert Garcia, in a FanHouse video by Elie Seckbach will do little to silence the fighter's detractors.
Shortly after Margarito (38-6, 27 knockouts) is shown slamming his fists against a body pad being held by Garcia in the ring during a recent media day workout, Garcia dons a thick, crescent-shaped, silver slab of metal that is draped across the knuckles of his right fist.
Garcia then jokes that not only was Margarito wearing the metal slab beneath his gloves while sparring moments ago, but that he will also do so during his Nov. 13, HBO pay per view televised Top Rank Promotions battle opposite WBO welterweight (147 pounds) king Manny Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KOs), the latter of whom takes a 12-fight winning streak that includes eight KOs into their clash in pursuit of an eighth title in as many different weight classes.
Prior to his ninth-round knockout loss to Shane Mosley in January of 2009, Mosley's trainer, Naazim Richardson, discovered a plaster-like substance in one of the gloves of Margarito that was removed and confiscated prior to Margarito's defeat.
"That's [metal] what he [Richardson] found.Do you believe that? He [Margarito] got caught," said a chuckling Garcia, later adding, "That's what fell out when Naazim Richardson saw it. ."
Margarito, who has claimed that his former trainer, Javier Capetillo, acted alone, was banned a month later and did not receive a license until being granted one by Texas in August.
But that has not stopped many observers in the boxing community, including Pacquiao and his popular, outspoken trainer, Freddie Roach, from speculating that Margarito not only knew that his hands were wrapped illegally, but that his gloves may have been loaded against vanquished rivals such as Kermit Cintron and Miguel Cotto, who were savagely beaten and bloodied before being stopped by Margarito.
"You have fu****g rocks in your hand, you know it. Against Daniel Santos and Paul Williams and so forth, he doesn't look like he's that big a puncher," Roach told Robert Morales of BoxingScene.com, referring to decision losses by Margarito, respectively, in September of 2004, and July of 2007. "Against Cintron and Cotto, something was different."
Roach said that after having studied up to seven of Margarito's recent fights, he believes that Margarito may have had loaded wraps in some of them.
"What is the first thing a fighter wants to do when he's done fighting? Take off his gloves," said Roach, referring to video from the second fight with Cintron, whom Margarito stopped in the fifth, and sixth rounds of separate bouts. "He kept the gloves on the whole fu****g time."
Top Rank Promotions' CEO, Bob Arum, who promotes both Margarito and Pacquiao, called Roach's assertions 'Ludicrous."
"I think Freddie's just playing mind games. I mean, that's ludicrous," said Arum, who has vehemently defended his belief that Margarito is being truthful in his denials.
"Everybody listens to what Freddie says," said Arum. "And Freddie can weave a very big tale, and people will listen to it and pay attention. But I think that you have to disregard that."
In the video, Garcia bates Pacquiao and Roach, while wearing the metal across his knuckles.
"Manny, be careful," Garcia says in the video. "Freddie Roach, you had better be in the dressing room like you said. You had better be there all of the time. Watch out, Freddie Roach."