One More Round: Too Much to Ask

By "Old Yank" Schneider on December 4, 2011
One More Round: Too Much to Ask
Antonio Margarito was a pretender and it showed Saturday night (Chris Farina/Top Rank)

The night was to end with a “convicted” glove-loader losing to a man he was suspected of using loaded gloves to beat a few years earlier…

This past Saturday, my night at the Garden (THE Garden—Madison Square Garden—the Mecca of Boxing), began with a roundtable of champions reminiscing about their connection to The Garden. And why not? This is hallowed ground. The purity of “Boxing Americana” in some folk-art tradition can be reduced to the arrival of large hall boxing inside these walls (or more accurately the predecessor building that carried the same name as these walls). Homage was being paid to this Grand Dame by worthy champions with names like Antuofermo, Ortiz, Cooney, Holmes and Holyfield who’d danced on her floor. But the night was to end with the awkward incongruity of a “convicted” glove-loader named Antonio Margarito losing to a man he was suspected of using loaded gloves to beat a few years earlier.

How was it possible that Antonio Margarito, a “convicted” glove-loader, could end the night crying like a woman for one more round as if he was begging for one more chance to be connected to a dance on the hallowed floor of Madison Square Garden? He was obviously a gate crasher to begin with! He had no right to be on this dance floor in the first place. He was a pretender and it showed. His womanly cries for one more round should echo in his head alone and should be forever forgotten in the halls of this Mecca of Boxing. Asking for one more round was already two years of rounds too many. Margarito, the man who should have been banned from boxing for life, is no more.

It was a little more than two and a quarter years ago that Antonio Margarito overcame a serious deficit of being outclassed to miraculously lay a soul-snatching beating on Miguel Cotto that would cause Cotto (a man with an iron will) to quit. And it was a little less than two years ago that Antonio Margarito attempted to load his gloves against Sugar Shane Mosley—a crime he was later found guilty of by the California State Athletic Commission and a “conviction” that was upheld by the Superior Court of the State of California. With that conviction Margarito’s earlier performance against Cotto came under great suspicion of glove loading as well.

I did not give Margarito a single round Saturday night. Although he did win a round on each of the official judges’ scorecards, not a single judge agreed on the round Margarito won. Margarito was essentially shut out. Julie Lederman, John Poturaj and Steve Weisfeld all had the bout 89-82 at the time of the TKO stoppage. It could easily have been 90-81.

There was no doubt that Margarito’s gloves were clean Saturday night. This is the logical difference from the prior bout. In the post-fight presser, Miguel Cotto encouraged us to decide for ourselves.

There are those who will argue that Margarito’s pressure is what got to Cotto in their first bout. But more will argue that being hit with loaded gloves can puncture any fighter’s gas tank.

There was no sign of quit in Cotto Saturday night—no sign of a punctured gas tank could be seen. He fought a smart bout. Going back two and a quarter years ago he fought a smart bout that night too—but something got to him around mid-bout. Saturday night that something was left in Nevada (the venue of their prior bout), and the purity of the Grand Dame of Madison Square Garden was pure again for one more night.

Antonio Margarito begged for one more round Saturday night. He begged like a crying woman for one more round as if he deserved it. One more round was indeed asking for one round too many.

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  1. "Old Yank" Schneider 12:50pm, 12/12/2011

    Don—Recommended Read: Serpent on the Rock, Kurt Eichenwald (1995). Right or wrong, Eichenwald latched himself onto what he thought was wrong at the insurance monster Prudential as if he was a pit-bull (specifically grabbing onto the ankle of its brokerage arm Prudential Bache). I’m not sure if he was trying to convince himself or his audience, but it was a hell of a good read. I was personally at several of the meetings he referenced in the book. Eichenwald was likely one part truth and one part fiction, but he was 100% passionate about it. Margarito is my Prudential Bache. You might be 100% correct in me needing to convince myself more than needing to convince my audience. But alas, I write what I feel passionate about and let the chips fall where they may. Again, be it 50, 250, 3,000, 10,000 or 10, I am greatly appreciative of everyone (friends and foe alike) who reads anything I write. Again, peace to you and yours this holiday season.

  2. "Old Yank" Schneider 12:08pm, 12/12/2011

    Don—Good luck to you. You might scrub yourself off an email list or two—one of them is handing you false info. Two quick points: 1. I’ve never been banned from a site in my life; 2. I took a break writing for personal reasons—I’ve only had one article refused at ESB over the past 3 years and that one was published here after a little rework.  Apparently they and others thought it too hot to handle. I’ve always thought Margarito was “ordinary” – no secret here. Now it looks like he’s exposed himself as being exactly that. Peace to you and yours this holiday season.

  3. Don From Prov 05:12am, 12/12/2011

    I hadn’t seen the fight yet so wanted to wait until I had to comment, though the quality and professionalism—or lack thereof in this article was already apparent.  To go back over the writer’s history of trying to talk Margarito down—and being embarrassed as he did on another boxing site (before they stopped being very interested in printing his articles—and that was prior to the writer being banned on a second site) is a waste of time.  Yet, one would think from the tone of the piece that the writer himself was some stone hardened former fighter for whom throttling a doctor who tries to stop the fight is the only “manly” option available—one MIGHT think that if he didn’t know that quite the opposite was true.  Yet, obviously, the only intent, and true direction, of this “article” was to revel like a child in a (incorrectly perceived) “victory.”  Tumbo is correct about the fight and one could add a lot more about it, but the fight is over.  The larger picture is that this is beginning to sound like the “bad old days” on the site where this writer’s work no longer became particularly welcome: Shrill, venomous, lacking in objectivity, and shot-through with the self doubts of the writer, this piece does not belong on such a fine site.  It’s like picking up what purports to be the New York Review of books and finding a Hustler article taped inside its covers.

    I should have known better than to read on when I opened the article and saw the byline, so that’s on me, but I’m going to take a break from this site: Boxers talk shit all the time, but a professional writer has no place writing about “crying like a women” (no matter that what was taking place was just the opposite).  If one wishes to use sexist language, then the truth is he will find that the single—the only—place where there is evidence of “girlishness” in the writer’s hysterical tone: Certainly, none was on display in the boxing ring the other night.
    Pitiful stuff, this.

  4. "Old Yank" Schneider 05:24pm, 12/09/2011

    te tumbo - I gotta have HUGE RESPECT for you entering the lion’s den. PEACE to you brother—you are a GREAT boxing fan—the BEST!

  5. te tumbo 03:45pm, 12/09/2011

    “He begged like a crying woman for one more round as if he deserved it”. yeah(?). a fighter with a swollen eye that has been medically declared unfit to continue is described as a “crying woman” because he WANTS to continue? ZERO objectivity or emotional sobriety in this write-up. in fact, it seems to be overcompensating for the “revenge” that Cotto didN’T earn in a boxing ring by desperately begging readers to believe that he did, i.e., whose the “crying woman” here?

  6. te tumbo 03:40pm, 12/09/2011

    from the surprise eye examination; mandatory NYC location; Richardson’s intrusion into the scene; to the premature stoppage; this fight was a despicable Set-Up. also, despite public accusations of “criminal” assault and promises of eye-popping mayhem, why did Cotto instead employ a fight-plan that showed plenty of respect for Margarito’s punches by diligently (desperately?) avoiding at all costs? not even for a couple of rounds to determine whether Cotto could pummel Margarito with the fierce impunity he promised and threatened? moreover, after comparing 9th-round photos of Cotto from both fights, the damage was virtually identical deSPITE Cotto avoiding Margarito’s punches and when Kellerman eagerly and directly asked about the difference in Margarito’s punches, Cotto demurred and preferred to respond with general responses regarding his preparation and fight-plan. even so, Cotto was losing steam as early as the 7th; increasingly clinching and running during the 8th; and beginning to absorb sustained punishment from Margarito in the 9th. a Margarito round. at which point the ring doctor conveniently stops the fight(?!?) due to a routine swollen eye. BullShit. Btw, why examine and declare an eye 100% healthy only to prematurely stop the fight due to particular concern for Margarito’s eye? BullShit one more time. consequently, Cotto’s soft “revenge” is hardly payback, which it seems that the entire NYC boxing community had to pitch in to make possible. that’s not “revenge”. it’s a despicable set-up.

  7. "Old Yank" Schneider 06:30pm, 12/05/2011

    del g—Justice! Margarito remained in total denial of what happened at the post-fight presser. He was even wearing theater cake makeup to hide his bruised face. Cotto, by contrast, took to the mic proudly wearing bruises. What an amazing contrast between these two men.

  8. del g 09:53am, 12/05/2011

    Ive haven’t enjoyed a main event as much as this for years ( mainly due to Cheatos getting schooled )...........6 AM was well worth waiting to see him completely outboxed by a classy Cotto…....Justice for Miguel!!

  9. "Old Yank" Schneider 04:56am, 12/05/2011

    Iron Beach—Great post.  What more proof do you need than your own eyes and a comparison of damage Margarito was doing and was not doing before and after getting caught loading his wraps with plaster?  It all fits: Margarito was supposedly a “slow starter”?  Slow started my AZZ!  He was puncturing the gas tank of opponents with plaster hands and ended up slowing them down ILLEGALLY and this is what allowed him to look like a slow starter who came on in the later rounds.

  10. Iron Beach 03:58am, 12/05/2011

    No I can’t prove it, but I too beleive Margo was loaded for, at the very least the 1st Cotto mix….and maybe (probably) other bouts. I was torn between seeing Cotto get his revenge and never seeing the cheating Antonio in the ring again….ever. Both he and Capetillo shoulda’ been banned for life IMO…let ‘em reside in shame with Panama Lewis

  11. "Old Yank" Schneider 09:18pm, 12/04/2011

    Margarito, with plaster hands, was a stalk, stun and kill kind of fighter.  Since getting caught he’s been nothing more than a stalk and take shots as he walked in face-first kind of fighter—the stun and kill is 100% gone!

  12. "Old Yank" Schneider 09:15pm, 12/04/2011

    Tex—The CSAC found Margarito’s testimony to be insulting to their intelligence.  Now, any fan, after seeing Margarito perform several times following his glove-loading incident with Mosley, can only conclude that he’s been a VERY different fighter since being caught.  Any suggestion that their own eyes is not proof enough that he’d been loading up for many fights is now an insult to my intelligence and theirs.

  13. TEX HASSLER 07:29pm, 12/04/2011

    “Old Yank” scored a clean KO with this excellent well written article. He is right because Margarito did not deserve this fight and in my humble but highly accurate opinion he should have been banned for life because of the loaded gloves. Cotto won fair and square. He also won a fight he did not have to take. Cotto has erased the loss to Margarito off his record even if Margarito had to cheat to win the first fight.

  14. marlon galaura 07:28pm, 12/04/2011

    Too much is enough for the beating that Margarito absorbed. the most from devastating punches of Pacquiao, then again from Cotto margarito should retire

  15. Javielito 11:30am, 12/04/2011

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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