This Saturday night HBO pay-per-view will present the rematch between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito, set to take place inside of Madison Square Garden in New York.
The first fight between the two prizefighters saw Margarito hand Cotto his first defeat by way of an 11th round TKO at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in July of 2008 and some definite bad blood has developed over the following years.
One fight after Margarito defeated Cotto, he was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission after it was discovered he had elements of plaster of paris in his hand wraps prior to his bout with Shane Mosley. Margarito would lose on that night in January of 2009 by way of a brutal 9th round stoppage and he was chastised by the boxing public.
<— Slideshow: Behind the scenes during the second episode of HBO’s 24/7 Cotto-Margarito
Cotto had initially failed to comment as to whether he felt Margarito may have cheated during their first encounter, but, as evidenced by HBO’s two 24/7 Cotto-Margarito episodes, the Puerto Rican has spoken out.
In the first 24/7 episode he adamantly stated his belief that Margarito cheated on that fateful night and in the second showcase he let it be known that he has no remorse for the Tijuana fighter.
“No matter what, I’m preparing myself to beat Margarito’s a**,” Cotto stated with conviction. “He played with my health. He can play every day with his [own health,]. I don’t feel any respect for him, you know? And I’m going to take advantage of his eye like he took advantage of the plaster.”
Cotto’s reference is to Margarito’s right eye, which was severely damaged during his November 2010 decision loss to Manny Pacquiao. Margarito suffered a broken orbital bone in his face from all of the punishment he absorbed and for a while it seemed as though his career would be in jeopardy.
Margarito’s eye was a focal point of this fight’s lead-up and on Tuesday it was revealed that the New York State Athletic Commission had approved his license after some confusion, paving the way for the rematch to go down.
And while there were several people breathing a sigh of relief upon hearing the news, Margarito showed some disdain towards Cotto’s remarks.
“F**k Cotto. If they think that I had plaster, it will hurt like I was using plaster. And he will know it,” Margarito said dismissively.
Nearly three and a half years later and there is no love lost between the two men. And that’s why everyone is looking forward to this fight.
[Reader’s note: For a closer look at Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito, please visit Behind the scenes during the 2nd episode of HBO’s 24/7 Cotto-Margarito ]
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Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at Trimond@aol.com