Sunday, May 28, 2023  |


Capetillo’s fighters remain loyal

Fighters Network

When Jesus Soto-Karass fights Carson Jones in the main event of an Azteca America-televised card from Maywood, Calif. on Friday night, the welterweight fringe contender will be without his trainer, Javier Capetillo.

That's because Capetillo, who is best known for training former titleholder Antonio Margarito, is currently suspended by the California State Athletic Commission for allegedly attempting to illegally tamper with the hand wraps of his star fighter before the Jan. 24 bout with Shane Mosley. Capetillo's trainer license and Margarito's fighter license were temporarily suspended until a Feb. 10 hearing.

In the meantime, Capetillo – often called “the General” because he's such a stern task master in training – continues to coach his fighters at the PAL gym in Montebello, Calif.

There had been speculation – particularly within the Mexican community of Southern California's vibrant boxing scene – as to whether Capetillo's fighters would take on a new trainer during his suspension. Clemente Medina, who trains junior middleweight prospect Alfredo Angulo and has worked with fighters such as Edwin Valero and Vicente Escobedo, was thought to be a leading candidate for Capetillo's replacement.

However, it seems the General's soldiers are remaining loyal until an official verdict on the trainer's status is rendered at the Feb. 10 hearing.

The corner of Soto-Karass (22-3-3, 16 KOs) will be worked by the Los Mochis, Mexico native's co-managers Sergio Diaz and Francisco Espinoza, both of whom also manage Margarito.

One of Capetillo's new fighters, junior flyweight contender Giovanni Segura (19-1-1, 15 KOs), plans to have the beleaguered trainer in his corner when he fights Cesar Canchila on Feb. 28 in Toluca, Mexico, whether Capetillo's ban has been lifted by that time or not.

“Unless Capetillo's license has been revoked for outright cheating, we plan to have him in Giovanni's corner,” said Ricky Mota, Segura's manager. “I don't think that's going to happen, but if the suspension isn't lifted after the hearing and this thing gets dragged out in court, we plan on taking (Capetillo) to Mexico with us. I don't think his suspension counts over there.”

Segura's fight with Canchila is a rematch for the Colombian's WBA title.

“Capetillo is still training everyone in his stable until this issue is resolved,” Mota said. “All of his fighters and their managers are going to wait until the hearing before making any decisions to leave him.

“We would only get a new trainer if the commission finds him guilty of trying to put something dangerous in Margarito's gloves, but I don't see that happening.

“If Capetillo were guilty of pouring concrete over Margarito's wraps or trying to slip some brass knuckles under his gauze, I don't think there would be any hearing, I think he would have been kicked out of boxing already.”

Doug Fischer can be reached at [email protected]