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Margarito, Capetillo have licenses revoked

Fighters Network

VAN NUYS, Calif. – The licenses of former welterweight title holder Antonio Margarito and his trainer Javier Capetillo have been revoked by the California State Athletic Commission on Tuesday for illegally tampering with the fighter's hand wraps before his January 24 bout with Shane Mosley.

Margarito and Capetillo were found guilty of violating CSAC Rule 323, which limits the amount and type of gauze and tape allowed under a fighter's boxing glove, and Rule 390, which allows the commission to discipline a licensee when his or her actions are a “discredit to boxing” or violate the rules of CSAC.

Under the ruling, the fighter and the trainer will able to apply for license reinstatement in one year, but in the meantime will not be able to participate in boxing in the state of California or any other U.S. jurisdiction that upholds the CSAC's decision, which is what usually happens in these matters.

Before the title bout with Mosley, which Margarito lost by ninth-round TKO, Mosley's trainer Naazim Richardson brought the questionable hand wraps that Capetillo used on his fighter to the attention of commission inspectors, who confiscated what was described as “suspect bandage wrap inside a knuckle pad” that was “sweat-soaked and harder in certain areas than normal wraps”.

Margarito's license to box and Capetillo's license to train were temporarily suspended by the CSAC on January 28, while the confiscated wraps could be further examined, and until Tuesday's disciplinary hearing could be held.

The hearing, which was attended by well over 100 observers and lasted more than five hours, ended with the seven-member board voting unanimously that Capetillo and Margarito had violated California statutes regulating the safe and legal use of hand wraps before a professional boxing match.

The commission's decision was met with shock and outrage from Capetillo's defense attorney Daniel Petrocelli and by Margarito's promoter Bob Arum, who said they would appeal the ruling and even consider taking the fighter to other states or countries to fight.

Capetillo didn't admit to “cheating” – or to deliberately trying to harden Margarito's wraps in order to gain an advantage during the fight – but the veteran trainer admitted to making “a big mistake” while wrapping his fighter's hands.

Capetillo claimed that he reached into his equipment bag and grabbed the wrong wrapping – one that had already been used and that belonged to another fighter – while he was wrapping Margarito's hands before the Mosley bout.

Capetillo's claim was met with skepticism by the commission.

Margarito declined to comment on the rulling.