Weekend fights satisfy the Good guy vs Bad guy theme

Miguel Cotto goes down after taking so much punishment in their July 26, 2008 battle royale. Photo courtesy of HBO Boxing

The promoters had no problem peddling this weekend’s match-ups. It was easy. All they had to do was bring up that loathsome label of “Cheater” and mention the distinct possibility of revenge.


In life there are always those who want to win at all cost even if that means bending a rule, hiding that Ace up their sleeve, tipping a scale, especially when there’s so little difference between the participants’ skill levels. Whether it be in a friendly Friday night poker game or Saturday in the boxing ring, you’re always going to have those slime buckets looking for an edge to exploit.

The recent face to face discussion between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito with HBO moderator Max Kellerman is a must see.

As far as the Antonio MargaritoMiguel Cotto II bonanza, set for HBO PPV TV and the sold out Madison Square Garden, the tickets have all been sold and the PPV buys are assured. There was no longer a need to put on airs, be gentlemanly. They could let it all hang out at the final press conference on Wednesday.

Although the animosity between Cotto (36-2-0, 29 KOs) and Margarito (38-7-0, 27 KOs) has been simmering since July 26, 2008, their hatred had finally reached the boiling point. Like labels on a bottle of Tequila, there was Cotto, the Puerto Rican standard barer facing the disgraced “I did nothing wrong” hand wrap cheater from Mexico.

Margarito spoke first and made his disgust for Cotto clear. “He (has the audacity) to call me a criminal?” said Margarito. “Open the door for a criminal.” Then, he upped the ante, “He calls me a criminal but I have never done what he has done. I don’t know why he calls me the criminal. I am not a man who beats on my own family.”

They say you could hear a pin drop inside the Wamu Theater when he made that accusation. The reference was to a brawl outside a boxing gym between Cotto and his uncle, who at the time was his trainer.

Margarito continued, “He wants to take it personal. I’m taking it personal, too. He will never beat me. He says he will have no mercy on my eye.”

At that point, Margarito was making reference to the broken orbital bone in his right eye, the one he had repaired after taking that shellacking from Manny Pacquiao. It was an issue Margarito had to deal with when seeking his license to fight in the state of New York.

“He can hit my eye as many times as he wants,” said Margarito. “He hits like a girl. He hits like a flyweight.”

Of course Cotto’s response was less emotional and more measured. “I will speak to him in Spanish, so Antonio can get the message and understand it well. If you don’t know what a criminal means, you can look it up in the dictionary. It’s someone who uses a weapon. We spoke about the wraps on the Face Off (the HBO show hosted by Max Kellerman). I showed you a picture of them,” said Cotto.

“You are like a child. You’re an embarrassment to boxing.” At that point some of the people in the crowd began to applaud. “We’ll see you in the ring on Saturday.”

In their first meeting on HBO, Miguel Cotto won the early rounds and then in the later rounds appeared to run out of gas. See for yourself.

The other bout involving a cheat will be on the same night at the Honda Center, Anaheim, CA, with Abner Mares (22-0-0, 13 KOs), known for his low blows, giving Joseph Agbeko (28-3-0, 22 KOs) a second opportunity. As long as referee Russell Mora is not present, this one should go a lot smoother than the travesty in which he was a major player.

Back on August 13th of this year, at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, Mora turned a blind eye to the 20 or so low blows that Mares used to insure victory. We can only hope if Mares tries this same tactic on Saturday night, the official in the ring will know to call for an immediate point deduction. At this point, he would have to be aware of Mares’ history and be looking for such a foul.

Once again, both of the boxers have like power, like skills and it should be a dandy of a fight if those outside influences can be curtailed.

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