Boxing


'Call Em Out Fridays': Antonio Margarito - From The Path Of Contempt, To The Road of Redemption

By Vivek Wallace: Not too long ago, there were droves and droves of fight fans and media personalities who supported the suspension of Antonio Margarito's boxing license. Fast-forward a year and some change, and wow.......isn't it funny how some things completely turn around? Here we now stand approximately 3 weeks away from a evening that may go down as the biggest fight night of the year, and suddenly, the protest has turned to a pro-test, as few deny their open interest and support for the battle which lies ahead.

When you take a look back at the career of Antonio Margarito, the intrigue is that it somewhat parallels the man he now stands across from. Both stepped in the ring at a relatively young age. Both stumbled out of the gates by dropping a few of their initial contest in a trend that can be attributed more-so to the school of hard-knocks, than a true deficit of talent. And both entered the sport with big dreams and little else. While Pacquiao found a way to eventually propel himself to great heights in the sport, Margarito learned that often in life there's a cost associated with being good, but there's an even greater cost associated with being bad. A very apt play on words which accurately describes the difficulty he faced in pinning down the type of opponents necessary to show how good he is, and the irony of how things subsequently fell apart in his career after proving how bad he could be - (reference to the handwrap scandal).

The old adage says that "time heals all wounds", and although these wounds still bear the old, cracked, blood dripped scabs of yesterday, the healing process could very well come full circle on the night of November 13th, in Dallas Cowboys Stadium, as Margarito will stand center stage in a bout that could wipe out memory quicker than a PC virus.

Little over a month ago, a random fight fan posed the question to me, "how would the world of boxing and our view of the term P4P change if Margarito is lucky enough to actually stop Manny Pacquiao and win a fight most media, fans, and odds-makers say he can't"? At the time, my initial response was to shrug this notion off, smile, and simply move on. The closer we get to Dallas, and the more I read and hear around the industry, the more prone I am to analyze this question, as it appears one element may indeed be enough to trump all others.

We know that the Margarito holds intangibles like height, reach, etc. We know that he is the naturally bigger guy. But what few seem to know and take into consideration is that this is a man who has had to fight tooth and nail for every ounce of progress he's ever made in the sport. He wanted Mayweather. He never got 'em. He wanted the mega-fights.....for a while, he never got 'em. He was literally forced to fly under the radar until the same promoter (Bob Arum) who most resent based on his in-house monopolizing style, decided to use this very same in-house tactic and pin one of his horses (Cotto) against the one in his stable who had the ability, yet had never previously received the opportunity (Margarito). On paper it was set to be an uphill battle, but those who bet against him quickly learned that the paper burns!

The victory over Cotto finally gave Margarito the boost his career needed, but the handwrap scandal and subsequent loss to Mosley quickly subtracted from his masterful career addition, and again, a setback (which many feel should've been a permanent one) prevented Margarito from reaching the level he always said he belonged on.

Some of the most dangerous contenders in the history of sports are those figures who have carried a role that has seen them flirt with grand success, yet never quite find it. The few positive accolades of Margarito's career would presently fall flat in any effort to trump the low-points. In the back of his mind, there's no question he knows a decisive victory over the co-pound-for-pound king of the sport would seal his legacy for those who like him, those who dislike him, as well as those who strongly sought to abolish his very presence in the sport. Leaving the ring with this career and legacy defining victory won't come easy, but anything worth having in life is worth fighting for......and a helluva fight is exactly what Margarito has on his hands! In a rare event of sorts, Margarito is one of the few who can in one night take his career from a strong state of contempt, to ultimate redemption. That long road to redemption will start and more than likely end on the evening of November 13th. Stay tuned.

(Vivek Wallace can be reached at 954*292*7346, vivexemail@yahoo.com, Youtube (VIVEK1251), Twitter (VIVEKWALLACE747), Facebook, and Myspace).

Article posted on 22.10.2010



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