'Margocheato' returns

Nov 9, 2010 7:02 AM

Talk is cheap, pay-per-view is not, which is why it is recommended that you don’t buy next Saturday’s pricey rip-off. Plus, it seems to me that putting any money in the coffers involved is an uncalled for enablement.

The Manny Pacquiao (pictured)-Antonio Margarito bout is the personification of what’s been wrong with boxing this sad year. It is the disgraceful and cynical replacement for the fight that didn’t happen in 2010, and might not ever. It is a scab that has crossed a moral picket line, well, if such a thing like morality could be even mentioned in a boxing context. In any case, there is nothing lower than a scab.

Pacquiao should be facing Floyd Mayweather Jr., or rather, the two leading contenders for best boxer in the world should have already met. Woulda, shoulda – Margarito should not have been licensed to fight after his gloves were found to contain a horseshoe, or its equivalent, wraps dipped in cement, by Sugar Shane Mosley’s trainer Naazim Richardson before a January 2009 meeting. Without the plastered pads, "Margocheato" – as he subsequently has been known – was whipped badly and finally stopped in the ninth round by Mosley.

Margocheato’s trainer, Javier Capetillo, said he made a mistake and put on some old training wraps. Trainer and fighter maintained they knew nothing about the illegal wraps. Margocheato’s promoter, Bob Arum, has seconded this convenient truth since he now puts his biggest star in with another of his minions instead of someone like Mosley or the undefeated welterweight Andre Berto.

Certainly, Margocheato’s performance against Mosley was nothing to recommend him for an assignment against Pacquiao, which makes this scab of a fight a non-betting proposition as well. Pacquiao has been about a 5-1 or so favorite offshore, with the buyback rate on Margocheato 3-1 or 7-2.

After being suspended by the California State Athletic Commission – which refused to re-license Margocheato – the so-called Tijuana Tornado has appeared only once in the ring and, while scoring a lopsided decision over a nonentity, he looked dreadful.

Margo will be 33 in March and was never blessed with any kind of speed or much power. Yes, Pacquiao is moving up in weight class once again – the WBC frauds have sanctioned this scab of a fight for its junior middleweight title though neither man has accomplished anything at 154 pounds – and he is the smaller fighter, 5-foot-6½ inches to 5-11 and a 67-inch reach compared to Cheato’s 73.

But as Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer (and one of the horde of doubters who believe Cheato knew damn well that his wraps for Mosley were tainted), pointed out, "Size doesn’t win fights, skill does, and we outweigh them in that department – this will not be a difficult fight for us at all."

Pacquiao doesn’t deserve a walk in the park, though there will be many rooting for him to inflict punishment on Margo. In a perfect world, perhaps the Filipino star would have refused to aid and abet Cheato’s ability to make a buck or million. But he seems to be Arum’s errand boy, campaigning for the promoter’s friend, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, singing for Jimmy Kimmel to bolster sales for this apparent mismatch, and helping the disgraced boxer to make a living.

I won’t watch, even if it were on "free" HBO. I won’t bet, either. There is no reason to reward any of the personalities involved by enhancing their coffers.