Upset Win Over Manny Pacquiao Will Not Change Antonio Margarito’s Legacy
Count me as someone who will be rooting for Manny Pacquiao during his fight with Antonio Margarito on Saturday night in Arlington. Pacquiao has won titles at seven different weight classes and will make it eight if he can beat Margarito. Margarito has won a title at the welterweight level and is fighting for just the second time in nearly two years. The reason for his delay is shameful and unethical: he was found to be using illegal hand wraps prior to his fight with Shane Mosley and had his boxing license suspended in the United States.
The bout with Pacquiao will be his first in the U.S. since January, 2009, and it’s one he’s hoping will help clear his name. “It’s been really tough, but this is a great opportunity for me, and I have to take full advantage of it,” Margarito has said leading up to the fight. The state of Nevada, along with California, refused to reinstate Margarito’s boxing license, so they took the case to Texas where it was ruled he would be allowed to fight. Margarito still has hopes of fighting in Las Vegas, however “I think I will fight in Vegas again,” Margarito said. “Once I get this opportunity, I know I’m going to come through.”
Margarito’s huge TKO win over Miguel Cotto in 2008 already has been called into question because people feel he may have been loading his gloves for that fight. Even though he’ll be watched heavily prior to this fight, he won’t get the credit he should for beating Manny Pacquiao. Margarito made an unforgivable move against Mosley, and perhaps against other fighters. I can never respect someone who cheated to the extent Margarito did, especially in a sport where the objective is to do physical damage to one’s opponent.
It’s sad to say it because people believe in redemption so firmly, but much like Barry Bonds and all the other steroid-users in baseball, Antonio Margarito will never escape his association with the cheating scandal. He is responsible for his actions and his legacy, and even a win over Pacquiao won’t change any of it. The only thing worse is that Pacquiao may be in a similar position.