Monday, February 16, 2009

Margacheato


How the mighty have fallen.

Antonio Margarito has been caught loading his gloves with a 'foreign substance' that has yet to be determined, but is widely speculated as being plaster of paris.  Plaster of paris is a form of mortar or cement that hardens when mixed with water (or sweat).  How disgusting.  This leads to much doubt as to whether he legitimately won any of his major fights against Cotto, Cintron or even Clottey.  It certainly puts Paul Williams on a whole different level for beating him.  And Shane Mosley's incredible performance against him only casts more doubt on Margarito's career wins.

For those who believe that this was a one-off and Nazim Richardson was just lucky to have found the 'error'...I am envious of your child-like innocence, but will have to tell you - THERE IS NO TOOTH FAIRY, EASTER BUNNY or SANTA CLAUS and ANTONIO MARGARITO DEFINITELY HAS DONE THIS BEFORE!

Watching the Cotto fight, I was in disbelief that any of Margarito's punches could actually hurt Cotto.  He is an 'arm puncher' and doesn't pivot to increase power.  Although his arms are long and would therefore produce more snap power, I still couldn't fathom why they were hurting Cotto so badly, especially in the later rounds.  Well, now I'm pretty sure I know why.  

Without the help of his loaded gloves, he was completely ineffective against Mosley, although in all fairness, his punch power could not be determined because he didn't really land any.  I certainly don't want to take away from Sugar Shane's amazing performance - he truly looked like the champion he is on that night - but for Margarito to have such a bad night certainly causes me to mentally put an asterisk next to each of his career wins in the last several years.

The California State Athletic Commission has suspended Margarito and his trainer, Capetillo for one year and so the cheating duo will not be able to fight in a number of other countries that uphold U.S. suspensions.  Though promoter, Bob Arum vies to stage fights in Mexico (which is one of the countries that doesn't give a rat's ass about U.S. suspensions), Margarito may have a tough time finding an opponent.  Or a fan, for that matter.  Although Tijuana mayor, Jorge Ramos has publicly invited the 'Tijuana Tornado' to come back to his home town to fight, it is widely speculated that other Mexican fighters won't be so quick to support their countryman.  Margarito fans, at first supportive and compassionate towards Margarito, have started to sway with highlights from Resto vs. Collins being brought out from the archives and shown pretty much every time Margarito-gate has been covered on sports broadcasts.

Some Boxing fans are comparing this scandal to the scandals of a number of Pro-Fighters who have been caught using Steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.  

Not the same thing.

Performance-enhancers are just that.  They enhance YOUR performance.  Is it wrong?  Absolutely.  But in the way that U.S. laws are written, there are different degrees of wrong.  Using the example of murder, there is manslaughter - which covers anyone who negligently, if not mistakenly causes the death of another human being.  2nd degree murder covers those who take the life of someone knowingly, but just didn't plan for it all to go down that way.  1st degree murderers are obviously those who plotted and followed through with their ill-will.  Steroid-use to me, is like manslaughter.  It's shady and a punishment is deserved, but loading one's gloves with plaster is like 1st degree shady to me.  If the substance is in fact, found to be plaster of paris, I believe Margarito and Capetillo should both be banned for life from fighting / training in the U.S. at the very least.  An argument can be made for the fact that this kind of act could be considered attempted murder ,  although I personally think that would be taking this a little far down the drama road, but those who believe that certainly have a point.

Cotto's loss could have been a career-ender.  He also sustained serious injuries that night that may have caused permanent damage.  Isn't he pissed?!  If he is, he is not vocalizing it.  

Margarito claims that this is "happening to him" only because he is from Tijuana.  Right.  Mexican fighters are some of the most celebrated and revered in the entire sport of Boxing - to discriminate against a fighter from Mexico would be like hating all African-American hip-hop artists.  Nice try, CHEATER.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Please allow me to introduce myself...


...I'm a Boxing fan, and a dame.

I work out at the Wildcard Boxing Club in Hollywood, California, where I meet all kinds of interesting and relevant characters in the Boxing world.  I'm going to pull a Tarantino here though and start from the beginning and work my way back to that...

My interest in Boxing started when as a child, trying to curry favor with  my Stepfather, I would watch the fights with him on Saturday nights.  He with the beer, me with the popcorn.  My favorite Boxer at that time was Sugar Ray Leonard.  Because I liked sugar.  I am much more astute with my choices nowadays, but I was definitely on to something even way back then.

Mike Tyson is solely responsible for re-igniting my interest in Boxing in the late 80's and early 90's.  I think it is a crime and a shame what happened to Iron Mike.  He is such an iconic fighter and I am absolutely fascinated by him.  I had the opportunity to meet him once, but chickened out because I was too shy (and if you know me for two minutes, you know that I'm not shy.  AT ALL).  He also knows more about Boxing than probably anyone else on the planet, which only further fascinates me.

I will admit that I became a fairweather fan after the glorious Tyson days, recognizing only a few names of the sport's fighters du jour.  Oscar de la Hoya and Lennox Lewis are two names that come to mind from that time.  

Then a friend of mine suggested I take Boxing as a way of getting some exercise.  I've always been drawn to the 'macho sports',  so naturally I was game to give it a shot.  I had gotten a little 'jolly' after getting married, so I definitely needed an effective work out anyway.  I was extremely intimidated by the Wildcard at first.  There's a lot of testosterone there and I found it very difficult to blend in.  Plus, the fact that I was an absolute beginner and looked like a Clydesdale running through deep snow while learning to jump rope didn't help much either.  I must have fractured each hand in two or three different places in the first few weeks, but somewhere during that time, I got hooked.

Boxing is now my religion.  I eat, sleep and breathe my beloved Sweet Science.  I have come to love the Wildcard gym and all of it's characters, now counting Freddie Roach as one of my very good friends.  I'm not as 'jolly' as I once was - turns out Boxing is as great of a work out as I could have imagined.  I lost 38 pounds over the course of 10 months going from a welterweight to a light / junior flyweight.  

I have a very active Boxing group on Facebook - join us if you'd like.  It's called Boxing: The Sweet Science.  (There are two groups by this name, but look for the one where I am the creator). 

Best,

Natasha