Antonio Margarito is a Faker, a Fraud, and a Villain

By Paul Magno on September 1, 2017
Antonio Margarito is a Faker, a Fraud, and a Villain
Naazim Richardson helped bring Margo to justice and the con was out of the bag. (HBO)

I can’t help myself when it comes to Margarito, a guy who brought disgrace to himself, to his heritage as a Mexican fighter, and to the sport in general…

Antonio Margarito returns to the ring this Saturday in Chihuahua, Mexico against fringe contender Carson Jones…and I hope he loses most spectacularly.

I usually don’t single out fighters for scorn or wish ugly defeat on them. It’s just not good form for writers to be leading any sort of virtual lynch mob. But I can’t help myself when it comes to Margarito, a guy who brought disgrace to himself, to his heritage as a Mexican fighter, and to the sport in general.

Margarito appealed to some boxing writers, who championed his cause like starstruck cheerleaders, because he was a perfect, stereotypical representation of what they visualized when having wet dreams about Mexican fighters. But to me, someone who was in the trenches of the Mexican gym scene at the time of Margarito’s prime, he was little more than a cartoon caricature. In the hardcore fight gyms of Mexico, volume punching is a kid’s game and the real pros work tirelessly on footwork, balance, smart counter-punching, and effective combinations—all things that Margarito never mastered, nor tried to master.

Essentially, Margarito was always a small middleweight with a good chin fighting at welterweight. He was one of those fighters who could coerce his body into an artificially low weight just long enough to get to the weigh-in. There was never much more to his game plan than—Be bigger, be stronger, and come forward. When someone flipped the script, he was in trouble. But smart matchmaking from his promoter, Bob Arum, made sure that he was well-matched for as long as possible.

The most impressive thing about Margarito was always the hype job that somehow, almost overnight, turned a crude fringe champion with a very suspect résumé into the “Most Feared Man in Boxing.”

Arum would use Floyd Mayweather’s migration from Top Rank in 2006 to create the impression that Mayweather was running from Margarito. Arum would issue fight offers to the wind from Margarito to Mayweather. And, despite the fact that it would’ve been legally improbable and logistically retarded for Mayweather to turn around and work directly with the promoter he just fought to get away from, too many people fell for the con job and a myth was born.

Then, of course, there was the black cloud that Margarito brought upon himself when he was busted with doctored knuckle pads (coated with a “plaster-like” substance) prior to his 2009 bout with Shane Mosley. It was a heinous act that brought out the true coward in the man, a villainous old school cheat attempt that cast a dark cloud of suspicion over all of his previous performances.

I remember being smack dab in the middle of the online Margarito love movement and thinking aloud how someone with such horrendous footwork and who was throwing nothing more than arm punches, could cause so much physical harm to his opponents. It didn’t make sense, but as fighters had parts of their face ripped off (Sebastian Lujan’s ear) and others said that Margarito’s punches felt like bare knuckle shots (Kermit Cintron), I was vociferously calling BS on the louse—much to the annoyance of those who were wading nipple-deep in the hype. At one point, I was nearly booted from my old website’s message board because of my dust-ups with those who had bought into the Margarito fairytale and were outraged at the suggestion that he was somehow not as manly as they were being told.

Later, of course, Mosley’s trainer Naazim Richardson helped bring Margarito to justice and the con was finally out of the bag. But “justice” is a relative term in boxing and the guy would fight again despite a license revocation by the California State Athletic Commission and an appalling absence of remorse for his deeds.

I used to carry around a double standard when it came to what Margarito did and what PEDs users do. I don’t have that double standard anymore. What Shane Mosley, James Toney, Roy Jones, etc. did is just as bad as what Margarito tried to do (and may have done prior to being caught). But there was something extra insidious about Margarito.

Margarito openly mocked those who railed against him and defied the sanctions issued to him. He sneered and mugged to cameras. He was the cocky kid with all the right connections who just knew that he was above the law and got a rush out of letting you know it as well.

His last three full-time years in the sport served as a testament to pretty much all that is wrong in boxing. He never copped to any wrongdoing, never lived up to the spirit of the sanctions dealt to him, and just went about his business, dealing in corrupt commissions and cashing in on the fans’ morbid curiosity. Ironically, Margarito’s two biggest paydays came after his disgrace (in bouts with Manny Pacquiao and a rematch with Miguel Cotto) —saying a lot about the sport and the mindset of too many fans.

Margarito’s two biggest paydays came after his disgrace

A measure of karma may have come his way via eye injury sustained in his one-sided loss to Pacquiao and the drubbing he took in losing to Cotto, but, in boxing, you can’t keep a bad man down.

After nearly five years off, Margarito returned to active duty in March of 2016, matched against relative safe domestic opposition like Jorge Paez Jr. and Ramon (Not Canelo) Alvarez. And now he’s set to face Carson Jones—a fighter who runs hot and cold, looking like a gritty battler one fight and a marginally interested journeyman the next. Margarito stated his goal as one more run at a world title, but that really translates into “one more big payday”—and he’ll eventually get it if he keeps winning.

Sadly, there are still those who revere the guy and refuse to accept the facts, even when they’re clearly presented to them. Some will swear up and down that being 7-1 with 6 KOs prior to Plaster Gate and then 3-3 with 0 KOs post-Plaster Gate proves nothing.

Some people just love to hold on to myths and will clutch at them even more tightly when someone manages to disprove them.

As for me, I know who Antonio Margarito is and what he’s about.

Here’s to a proper comeuppance this Saturday.

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  1. Philip Matsikoudis 05:00pm, 09/10/2017

    What makes me sick is cheaters that threaten the safety & lives of people and those that laud them. I case you didn’t realize it, we were discussing it, but your position is too repugnant to have an infinite dialogue.

  2. Kid Blast 01:49pm, 09/07/2017

    Your Name, nice to see that at Seton Hall Law School they teach you to insult your opponent rather than work the issue.  Whiny little law graduates like you who think you will save the world from evil are puke-provoking.

  3. Your Name 04:17pm, 09/04/2017

    Kid Blast p[lease be advised that you didn’t ruin anything because it’s actually a pleasure to address an opinion as ludicrous and ignorant as yours in order to reveal the lack of intelligence and rationality in defending a blatant and dangerous cheater where people’s lives are at stack when someone is violating the rules to the extent of committing an aggravated assault with deadly weapons.  As for the rest of your statement regarding morality, I doubt you truly understand the definition as your sentence is devoid of any cognizable meaning. Maybe in your head you think you are making sense but like your opinion on loaded gloves, it’s one that is shared by a very ignorant and foolish few. You are clearly the type of person who claims white is black & black white sans any possible cogent argument. The fact that reject circumstantial evidence as being valid is proof enough that you are a hopeless case.

  4. The Barker 08:37pm, 09/03/2017

    Paul Magno,

    I echo your disdain for Margarito.

  5. Kid Blast 12:55pm, 09/03/2017

    Rich Copy Unabashedly so.

  6. Rich Copy 11:53am, 09/03/2017

    KB is a hypocrite, all his talk of concussions and you support cement fists.

  7. Paul Magno 10:31am, 09/03/2017

    I get it, I really do….a “smear” of plaster on a hand wrap would mean nothing to me, either, if I didn’t know better….Yeso on the knuckle pad is an old school Mexican gym cheat…. and we’re not really talking about a whole lot needed for it to make a significant difference in the punch of a fighter… but, again, if you DON’T know, it’s all a bunch of silliness…. weak-willed, coward shit..unless and until it’s actually real for you… To think that, suddenly, a 44-fight boxer will decide to dabble in something like this is really naïve, though… Kermit Cintron came out and said that Margarito’s punch felt like being hit with a bare fist—well before this nastiness was ever revealed… sparring partners complained of it…. almost as though, he was experimenting in camp with how to do it right and in the right amount…. For me, it’s very likely that he loaded up before Mosley, almost obvious, really…but even if the Mosley fight was the only one where he tried, that’s still enough to earn him the license revocation…

  8. Kid Blast 09:55am, 09/03/2017

    Sorry. I do get the irony NOW.

    Creeping senility is a bitch, especially if it’s blended with a dash of dementia and stirred in with some CTE and concussive punch drunk syndrome..

  9. Kid Blast 09:52am, 09/03/2017


  10. Don from Prov 09:48am, 09/03/2017

    Kid Blast—

    What, in your creeping senility, do YOU not get about the word IRONIC?

    HINT: My comments concerning the EXTENSIVE scientific testing that has taken place after fights where it was KNOWN that wraps had been loaded.  Want to start the list of such fights?  I don’t even know where to begin to point out the other ironies in my post.  Remind me never to defend you against the forces of dumb again.  Trump is coming for all of us anyway, so. .

    And the other guy, the one from up-state? Well, he can be handled.

  11. Kid Blast 08:42am, 09/03/2017

    Don from Prov , I know that no one—I repeat—no one can ever prove that Margo used loaded gloves in a fight. He would have in the Mosley fight but someone caught it. But prior to Mosley, no one has established that he used them. What part of that don’t you get. I am not giving Margo kudos; I’m just stating a fact.

    BTW, I’m amazed that Trump’s good squad hasn’t caught up with you yet but they will sooner or later. If not Trump, someone else I know who lives in New York State because he claims you stiffed him in a bet.

    As for Philip, I stand chastised. I really didn’t mean for you to ruin your day—week—by writing a novella. Christ!

    Again, if we are trying to discuss morality, then all parts of the discussion belong on the table. Not just those that selectively suit your own positions.

  12. Dennis Taylor 08:09am, 09/03/2017

    No boxer on earth wants to step into the ring against an opponent with plastered handwraps, or a body juiced with PEDs. They all understand that the sport can be lethal, even without cheating. Fighters who think it’s OK to ignore rules that have been put in place to minimize the threat of mortal injury should never be permitted to participate again. And “fans” who think dangerous thugs like Margarito are “just part of the sport” have a screw loose. If Margarito had killed Miguel Cotto or Shane Mosley with plastered fists, and been caught afterward, he’d be in prison for first-degree murder today, and deservedly so.

  13. Don from Prov 07:02am, 09/03/2017

    Maybe, since it is so simple and can be done for the majority of a career without fear of ever being caught (as Margarito obviously cheated for his entire carer) smearing a trace of dried “plaster-like” or maybe talcum like substance onto an insert and turning ones fists into cleavers of destruction is the key to why GGG had so many consecutive knockouts.  But then when he fought Jacobs, he was afraid to try to sneak his credit-card-thin killer pads into his wraps and that’s why he didn’t knock out a guy whose chin was not thought of as concrete-like.  Have there ever been red stains on GGG’s glove, because that would really nail it down, it being undeniable that extensive, scientific testing in fights where loaded gloves were used have shown that such loaded gloves always cause a fighter’s knuckles to bleed (but their knuckles never bleed otherwise).  Watch for signs of blood of GGG’s hand wraps if he beats Alvarez.  And after, if GGG continues his career for too long and take some hellacious punishment to the point that he is completely shot out and is THEN forced to give up his size advantage against WWs and JMWs watch to see if his KO rate goes down, because I bet it does.  What is wrong with Kid Blast that he doesn’t see any of this?  He probably also doesn’t see that it is Morning America right now and has no idea whatsoever how all of snow gets on his driveway every damn winter no matter what.

  14. Lucas McCain 06:49am, 09/03/2017

    Philip—Eyestrain makes me avoid long blocks of print, but your post was well worth the effort!  And the late pun, Margo caught “red-handed,” will stick with me for days.

  15. Philip Matsikoudis 09:17pm, 09/02/2017

    A good job by Paul Magno because a cheater like Antonio Margarito cannot be outed enough as long as he enters a boxing ring.  The boxing public needs to be incessantly reminded of this perpetrator’s dastardly deeds because another instance of this would be far too many.  As far as Kid Blast being impressed by Margarito’s obvious loaded gloves victory over Cotto is the mark of a simpleton. He foolishly refuses to believe that ‘CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE’ isn’t probative when reasonable people intelligently accept its validity. Kid Blast candidly is ignorant of what constitutes CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE, which is evidently why he foolishly refuses to accept its probative value.  This is tantamount to saying that if was went to bed tonight and looked out his bedroom window and saw that ground outside was free of any covering but when he woke up in the morning and looked out the same bedroom window and saw the ground covered with snow, it would be his opinion that it never snowed because he personally never actually witnessed it snow while he slept.  He cannot accept the reasonable CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE that it must have snowed because the entire town was now covered in snow.  He would rather believe that hundreds of thousands of dump trucks for no reason at all must have carried the snow from some other place and dropped it in his town for no reason in particular. This is the unreasonable position of not accepting CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE as valid proof and why every Court of Law accepts’CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE’s probative value for proving something to be a fact.  The fact that the ground is covered with snow despite Kid Blast having not witnessed it actually snowing would be not only unreasonable to accept the fact that it had to have snowed as being an undeniable fact is idiotic.  When loaded gloves are used it often causes the cheating boxer’s hands to bleed as the photographs clearly show in Margarito’s bouts which he won such as the one against Miguel Cotto, however, in the rematch when Cotto dominated Margarito, there was no blood on his gloves in that bout or any other one subsequent to his being caught trying to load his gloves by Naazim Richardson. In November 2009, it emerged that red stains on the hand wraps Margarito used in the Cotto fight were similar to the stains on the inserts seized before the Mosley fight. These red stains were undoubtedly blood stains that raised suspicions that Margarito’s gloves were loaded for that fight and possibly others. It was in fact the photos of Margarito’s bloody fists in what are now tainted victories that raised the suspicion of Richardson that led to ultimately catching Margarito in the act. Richardson caught Margarito via the CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE of his blood stained hands which have subsequently disappeared in his bouts after being caught red-handed.  Thankfully the majority of people are intelligent enough to comprehend the obvious value of CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE to preclude another horror story such as that of Billy Collins Junior’s horrific loaded gloves beating that led to the lifetime banishment from boxing of Collins’ opponent Luis Resto and his infamous trainer Panama Lewis. The same justice should have been doled out to Antonio Margarito Montiel and his detestable trainer Javier Capetillo before someone was irreparably harm like Billy Collins Jr. or even was killed.

  16. marty devaney 08:55pm, 09/02/2017

    im a margarito fan ye hes a bad dude i like to watch him rumble did he win im in oz no results yet

  17. Your Name 06:52pm, 09/02/2017

    Wow, such an intelligent comeback, Oh My.
    You just demonstrated to everybody on the Internet, using your own words, what a lowlife buffoon you clearly are. Well done.

  18. oH mY 03:53pm, 09/02/2017

    Taylor, quit hi-jacking this thread and STFU

    As long as officials let you get away with it, it must be OK. Go complain to them.

  19. nicolas 01:41pm, 09/02/2017

    I have to agree with Paul on his feelings about Margarito. Have no respect for the guy. I even lost respect for Pacquaio after he gave him a fight to fight for the empty WBC light middleweight title. that he is only fighting in Mexico is not surprising, just like Povetkin seems to only now fight in Russia. Compare his first fight with Cotto, to his fight against another Puerto Rican fighter when he went to Puerto Rico, can’t remember that boxers name, but they both looked pretty ordinary. Also, how good was Margarito. Just look what Mosley did after that fight.

  20. Dennis Taylor 01:22pm, 09/02/2017

    A sport without rules is not a sport, and a guy who thinks it’s OK to juice his son up with PEDs or plaster his hands before a fight doesn’t deserve to participate in that sport, and doesn’t deserve to be called a father. I’d much rather be a wimp who respects rules and fair play than a Cro Magnon ignoramus who values victory over integrity.

  21. Oh My 08:54am, 09/02/2017

    Taylor, you wimp. Don’t be so naïve If Margo fights my son, I’ll have my son be trained by JMM. He will drink his own piss and take enough PEDS to make his dong disappear, but he will be ready for whatever Margo brings to the table.

    Get used to that fact that Margo is a bad guy in a good-bad scenario. Rios also represented Oxnard in that capacity. These are bad dudes who participate in a bad sport. .

  22. Leo Carrillo 05:27am, 09/02/2017

    Arm puncher or not Margo"s punches landed with a thud. He is the same type of puncher as Danny and Ernie Lopez, Leo Santa Cruz, Jessie James Hughes, and Carl Froch. Arm punchers all whose punches landed with real impact. Plastering was icing on the cake as far as Margo is concerned. You can bet your ass that he is proud of everything he has accomplished in the ring including cheatin’ like a son of a gun!

  23. George Raft 05:10am, 09/02/2017

    Margo could give a shit less. The same goes for Marquez who proudly proclaims that his greatest achievement was when he almost killed Manny when Angel Memo Hernandez/Heredia had him juiced to the gills!

  24. Dennis Taylor 07:49pm, 09/01/2017

    He doesn’t need you guys to defend him. Margarito made his own bed. He got caught plastering his hands before the Mosley fight. Sorry, but that’s indefensible, guys ... and it’s unbelievable to me that it also wasn’t pursued as criminal. OK if Margarito fights your son with plastered hands, fellas?

  25. Oh my! 06:14pm, 09/01/2017

    Tough writers going after a pussy boxer. Run , Margo, run before they catch you and beat you to a gory pulp. LMFAO

  26. Paul Magno 06:07pm, 09/01/2017

    That’s awesome, Dennis…Thanks!

  27. Dennis Taylor 04:05pm, 09/01/2017

    Just updated—yours is my lead story tonight. Margarito should have done jail time for attempted murder.

  28. Paul Magno 02:29pm, 09/01/2017

    Dennis…thanks so much…I was just about done with this comment section…I mean, geez how could anyone support this guy? Here’s a guy who would’ve happily pummeled another fighter into a coma with doctored equipment, yet people are defending him? Wow. And to think people believe that a veteran fighter in his 44th pro fight is just going to suddenly dabble in wrap doctoring, out of the blue and in just that one instance? Naive….

  29. Dennis Taylor 02:08pm, 09/01/2017

    Boy, did this need to be said. Well done, Paul Magno. I’ve refused to post any Antonio Margarito articles on my website in recent years, but this one will be an exception. Can’t believe this thug still has a license to fight.

  30. Bond 12:33pm, 09/01/2017

    Well I asked and Martinez answered “I got battered during a whole round, took it all flush on the chin and didn’t fall down. So no, those arm punches aren’t that extraordinary”

  31. Kid Blast 08:55am, 09/01/2017

    “Moral compass” the latest trending expression. What utter puke. Boxing was never about morality.

    As for arm punching, huh? I suspect Sergio Martinez might disagree with that.

    And just who (what opponents) noticed his odd punch?

  32. Paul Magno 08:13am, 09/01/2017

    ...and the guy was an arm-punching plodder who was somehow tearing chunks of flesh from opponents’ faces…I suppose that was magic power, appearing out of nowhere…and then disappearing to nowhere after he was busted…I know the yeso on wraps cheat. Seen it, fealt with it first hand…opponents were noticing his odd punch, too

  33. Paul Magno 08:07am, 09/01/2017

    ...and this is what I don’t get about some fans…You’re absolutely up on arms over some silly novelty fight, yet fully support and serve as apologist for someone who gladly would’ve pummeled another fighter with doctored equipment…talk about an odd moral compass..

  34. Kid Blast 08:01am, 09/01/2017

    Tell it to Golden Johnson. Lujan. Antonio Diaz.  Randall. Kamau. Perez. Ankamah. And oh yes, Sergio Martinez.  Illusion my butt. Prove that he used enhanced wraps in any fight and I will gladly back down. He would have used them against Mosley, yes. But he didn’t.

    What was Cotto’s handler doing during the wrap check in the first fight? I need probative proof and not “circumstantial” evidence whatever the hell that is.

  35. Paul Magno 07:53am, 09/01/2017

    Kid…I kicked the guy back when he was UP…He was always an illusion, a virtual nothing…a big bully with, likely, some enhancement…

  36. Kid Blast 07:35am, 09/01/2017

    A prime Margo could stalk, stun, and close like no one I have ever seen. His first win over Cotto was one of the most incredible fights I have ever seen. His two wins over Citron were just plain vicious. I’ll leave it at that except to say that Carson Jones will be a stiff test. I hope Margo wins.

    He is the quintessential bad guy in a dirty business that lacks a strong moral underbelly. He fits the role of piñata so have at it, but remember, it’s always easy to go after someone when they are down.

  37. Cain Bradley 06:52am, 09/01/2017

    Funnily enough the legacy of Antonio Margarito was something I had on my list of stories I would like to write. Ultimately I think my conclusion would have been that his best win is under a heavy cloud of suspicious while the second, third and fourth are also during the spell I would describe as suspicious. Before and after he has losses to average fighters and wins over bad ones. Innocent until proven guilty is the usual refrain but circumstancial evidence here really points to him being guilty and just an average boxer.

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