Despite being banned from the sport of boxing for a year for illegal hand wrapping former WBO welterweight champion Antonio Margarito insists he has ‘ always fought clean’.
Margarito was banned by the California State Commission after it was discovered that hardened plaster segments were inserted on the knuckle part of his handwraps prior to facing Shane Mosley in 2009.
Regardless of the overwhelming evidence, at a press conference in New York on Tuesday to publicise his rematch with Miguel Cotto on December 3, Margarito said: “I can’t change the opinions of anybody. Everybody has a right to an opinion. I’m telling you that I’ve always fought clean. I’m going to show in this fight against Cotto. After I beat him, everybody is going to see”.
In their first encounter Margarito stopped Cotto inside 11 painful rounds to claim the WBA welterweight crown in July 2008. The bout took place six months before Margarito faced Mosley and there was speculation(though nothing proven) afterwards that Margarito’s hand wraps may have been unfairly loaded.
At the Manhattan press conference Cotto showed reporters a photo on his phone of Margarito’s hands after their fight, suggesting their may have been foul play.
With the aforementioned in mind promoter Bob Arum suggested a complicated plan to ensure both boxers’ wraps were legal before the bout. New York State Athletic Commission chairwoman Melvina Lathan,however, insisted she was confident her inspectors could secure a clean fight.
September 20, 2011