Monday, May 29, 2023  |


Dougie’s FAT Friday Mailbag

Fighters Network

Antonio Margarito’s hand-wrapping controversy rages on, and fans give more props to Shane Mosley and Genaro Hernandez in this week’s FFMB. Enjoy!


If Antonio Margarito’s gloves have been loaded up this whole time, don't you think that Emanuel Steward or one of the other experienced handlers who trained the opponents he's faced would have picked up on it? – Wilson

That’s a good question. If using gauze soaked in some mysterious, allegedly hardening, substance was a regular part of Javier Capetillo’s hand-wrapping routine with his star fighter you would think someone would have noticed something out of the ordinary prior to the Mosley fight. I can’t help but wonder about the state inspectors that are present in the fighters’ lockerrooms before the fight.

Margarito’s last nine fights have taken place in California, Nevada, Atlantic City and New York – states that supposedly have strong boxing commissions that assign inspectors to the fighters’ lockerrooms before the fight whose job it is to make sure that a representative from the other fighter’s camp is present to observe the hand-wrapping process before the gloves go on.

At least I THOUGHT that’s what happened before the fights. Maybe it’s optional. Maybe some trainers – even astute, world-class guys like Steward and Evangelista Cotto and the other trainers of Margarito’s opponents – don’t always bother to observe their opponent’s hand wrapping.

Maybe Naazim Richardson is just a little bit smarter – or more suspicious – than every one else. Good for him (and his fighters).

And maybe those inspectors don’t know what they are looking at. Maybe they just stand around and get in the way and act like they know what’s going on when the truth is that they don’t know a hand wrap from a wet nap.

The only positive thing I can envision coming out of this ugly scenario is that boxing commissions everywhere make sure that their inspectors not only pay attention to what’s going on in the dressing rooms but are also educated enough about trainer-fighter pre-fight procedures and the rules of the sport to actually know what they are looking at.

Hopefully, hand-wrapping seminars can be set up – especially in busy states like California, Nevada and New Jersey – where inspectors can learn how to wrap hands themselves and be educated on what to look for in terms of illegal procedures. In the Las Vegas area, veteran cutmen like Miguel Diaz and Rafael Garcia could lead the presentations. In Southern California, I’m sure veteran trainers/cornermen like Joe Goossen, Joe Chavez or Tony Rivera would be happy to do it. But it doesn’t have be trainers or cutmen with big names. I think Pepper Roach can show someone how to wrap a hand as properly as Freddie Roach. Seriously. People just need to learn, and that includes members of the press like Yours Truly.

However, what I fear will happen is that the California inspectors are going to be extra-paranoid and over-vigilant, but instead of protecting the fighters from potential “cheaters” they are just going to be all over good, honest trainers and cutmen and make their jobs miserable before the fights.

Anyway, your question reminds me of what went through my mind after Richardson made Don Felix Trinidad re-wrap his sons hands before the Bernard Hopkins fight in 2001. Some of Trinidad’s former foes – I think it was William Joppy, Fernando Vargas and David Reid – came out of the woodwork to claim they felt something “extra” in Tito’s punch when they fought him. I never wrote that they didn’t have a right to wonder if the way Trinidad Sr. wrapped his son’s hands added to the young man’s punch, but I couldn’t help but wonder why their trainers never noticed anything funny before the fights.

Perhaps every trainer has his own unique method of wrapping hands, which can sometimes hide illegal procedures, and maybe most trainers are too busy with wrapping the hands of their own fighters to take the time out to visit the other guy’s lockerroom.


What up Dougie?
Long time reader, rare emailer. I was wondering if your boy at your old stompin grounds was gonna write an Antonio “Margacheato” article the same way he got on Tito in that “Cheato” Trinidad article way back when. But we all know he's cool with Margs so I won't hold my breath for that one. To have pieces of plaster chunks fall from your wraps seems pretty shady but will definitely help amp the Miguel Cotto rematch since there is now reason to believe that Cotto may have a better shot at winning than people thought before the classic beat down that Mosley gave Margarito.

If Margarito happens to lose to Cotto in a June rematch, where does his boxing legacy stand? Tito was a Hall of Famer before the Hopkins fight and the wraps scandal didn't seem to tarnish him too much. Margarito on the other hand just really became known after the Cotto fight and losing a rematch will cause many people to believe that the plaster played a role in their first fight and maybe Cintron’s two losses as well. Guess we'll have to wait for the investigation findings and see how Margo fairs from here on out. – Ray, NY

The California boxing commission’s investigation is the bottom line to this controversy. I don’t think it’s fair for anyone to condemn Margarito or Capetillo before we find out exactly what the substance was on the gauze that was confiscated, and we learn more about its purpose and the trainer/fighter’s intent. Having said that; I think it looks bad. It looks really bad. I don’t think trainers are allowed to pour water on the hand wraps, let alone anything else.

If Margarito loses to Cotto in their proposed June rematch (which might not happen if the Caguas Crusher doesn’t look like his old self against Michael Jennings next month), I think the hand-wrapping scandal and the doubt it cast on his victories before the Mosley loss will keep him out of the hall of fame. If he’s found guilty of trying to cheat against Mosley I don’t think most fans or members of the media will even count his first victory against Cotto. That was by far the biggest win of his career. Take that away and add losses to a 37-year-old Mosley and Cotto and think that gives more than enough of an argument for his critics (and he’s got A LOT of them, especially among my peers on the East Coast) to hold off from putting a checkmark next to his name IF it ever makes it on an International Boxing Hall of Fame ballot.

There are three points I’d like to make before I “wrap” this subject up (sorry for the shameless pun):

1)I noticed that you have no problem using the word “plaster” when you describe Margarito’s wraps/gauze in question as if it’s already been determined beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was indeed plaster. It hasn’t. The substance has been described as “plaster like”, but it hasn’t been proven. (If it was plaster, you’d think the commission would have figured it out by now. I mean, how hard can it be? How about asking the guy who’s putting up dry wall in their offices: “Hey, you mind taking a look at these hand wraps for a minute?”) But seriously, if it does turn out to be plaster or something like it, we shouldn’t even be talking about a Cotto rematch, Capetillo needs to be banned from the sport and Margarito should have his license yanked for at least a year.

2)I don’t have a problem with fans or members of the boxing media believing that Capetillo and Margarito cheated against Mosley and probably did so against Cotto and both Cintron fights, but if they are going to take that stance I think the same belief should hold true for Mosley, Trinidad and any other boxer who is busted for bending the rules or outright cheating once in his career. Mosley got caught cheating against Oscar De La Hoya in their rematch. Who’s to say that was the first (or last) time Mosley ever used illegal performance-enhancing drugs/supplements? Trinidad’s father/trainer got caught wrapping his hands in a manner that some (I’m not among them) believe turned his fist into a rock. Who’s to say that was the only time Don Felix did that? All I’m saying is that all fighters should be judged by the same criteria.

3)”Your boy at your old stompin grounds”? That sounds so corny. Try saying it out loud a few times, Ray. Why can’t you just write “Steve Kim at”? You don’t think I care, do you? Anyone who emails me should feel free to mention the names of any other boxing writer and boxing website. Unlike some writers and publications, I could care less. It never bothered me when I was at MaxBoxing and it doesn’t bother me now that I’m at (or or whatever we’re calling ourselves theses days). Anyway, yeah the K-Hammer is close with Margarito’s management, but that doesn’t mean he won’t write anything about this situation. I think he’s just going to wait until he gets some inside information or until the California Athletic Commission’s February 10th hearing.


Great article on Genaro Hernandez. It's good to see the positive impact that boxing writers can have for these proud warriors who gave us everything in the ring. Your story inspired me to give what little I could to help out this champion. – Lew Garcia, Van Nuys, CA

Thanks for the kind note, Lew. It warms my heart to know that something I wrote can have that kind of impact. Genaro is such a open and honest man that it’s easy to get great quotes from him and from the people who know him, which goes into putting together a good story.


Yes he is a man. He's not a machine! I had a feeling that Sugar was going to solve the Margarito problem with physical strength. It's easier said than done but Shane's upper-body mass looked bigger than it has since maybe the Winky Wright days. And Margarito looked small compared to how he looked for the Cotto fight. To me he didn't look right.

It was amazing how Shane was able to hold and move Mags into a position that worked against him. Ring Generalship baby! For a second Shane actually looked like B-Hops in there with all the “holding”.

Plain and sample, the welterweights are Dope!!!! How do you rank Sugar now all-time and currently? Where do both fighters go now?

And BTW finding something in Margarito’s hand wraps like a “hard plastic thing” is 100% different than Trinidad's situation. Tito used the same materials that B-Hop used but had a “ill” technique to it. LOL. Will Margarito get suspended? – Frankie from the Bronx.

I think you know the answer to that last question now, Frankie. Yes. The TJ Tornado is on ice until he and his coach can adequately explain themselves. Good point about the difference between Margarito’s situation and Trinidad’s.

I think Mosley’s physical strength, along with his sturdy chin, is what enabled him to execute Richardson’s game plan so effectively. Many trainers and fighters have seen the same flaws and openings that Mosley did Saturday, but the guys in the ring usually lacked the strength, stamina and balls to take advantage of it for more than half a fight. Mosley had it all.

I also agree that he looked great physically, while Margarito looked drawn.

The welterweights are indeed “dope”. (I can’t believe I wrote that; I can’t believe you capitalized the word!). I think Mosley is No. 1 right now. In terms of his all-time status among 147 pounders, I don’t think he rates at all; at least not in the top 10 or 15. Honestly, I think Mosley would have had a tough time making it to the top spot a decade or two ago – never mind competing with the best of the best of history. Ten years ago, he would have had De La Hoya’s number, but I’m not sure if he would have beaten the undefeated welterweight versions of Ike Quartey and Felix Trinidad that the Golden Boy struggled against. Twenty years ago, I believe all-but forgotten 147-pound titleholders like Marlon Starling and Simon Brown would have given Mosley a hard time in the ring. Sugar Shane vs. Sugar Ray Leonard? Hitman Hearns? Jose Napoles? Nah, let’s not even go there. Let’s just give him his due props for kicking Margarito’s ass like no one ever has, acknowledge him as the man right now, and leave it at that.


Hey Doug,
Yet another feast of crow for me down in here in SD. I was at Affliction last night and didn't answer my phone all night so I could watch the fight when I got home. All I can say is HOLY CR*P!! I was stunned by what I saw. I think Manny got it right when he said this is the best Shane Mosley he's ever seen. I hope people don't take away from this win by making excuses for Margarito. I've always been lukewarm on Mosley (the nickname “Sugar” always bugged me), but I'm completely impressed today. Where does Shane go from here? The logical choice seems to be Paul Williams. What about Margarito? Is the Cotto re-match still viable? Or would Oscar be willing to get in with Tony now after seeing what happened last night? It's shaping up to be a great year for boxing! Lots of potential match-ups that I'll be looking forward to watching. Aloha. – Marcus, San Diego

You were at the Affliction show? One question: did you boo or cheer De La Hoya? You missed one hell of an atmosphere inside Staples. I hope the venue lands another big fight before the year is out; maybe something over the summer, or in September or October.

Last Saturday was not the best I’ve ever seen of Mosley, but it’s the best I’ve seen from him in eight or nine years. That’s for sure.

Margarito has no excuses. He just caught a beatdown. That’s all. You know, it happens from time to time in boxing. I’m not sure if everyone is aware of that little-known fact.

Do you really think a fight with Paul Williams is the most logical choice for Mosley? I think Richard Schaefer would disagree, but you and I both know that Mosley would consider the fight. He’s a real fighter. I think the most logical choice for Mosley is Floyd Mayweather (who I believe would give Shane a difficult fight). Beyond Floyd, the winner of Hatton-Pacquiao (at 147 pounds, of course) and a rematch with Cotto make the most sense to me. (I guess I pretty much agree with Schaefer’s plans.)

I don’t know about interest in a Mosley-Margarito rematch, but I think De La Hoya-Margarito would be a fascinating fight with considerable interest in the Hispanic community. I guarantee that it would pack ’em in at Staples.

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