Investigation of Margarito’s hand wraps underway

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The California State Athletic Commission is in the process of analyzing the contents of Antonio Margarito’s hand wraps, which were removed from the boxer’s fists Saturday night, delaying the start of his fight (and ninth-round TKO defeat) against Shane Mosley.

An athletic commission official told The Times today that the results of the investigation will be delivered ‘promptly,’ but declined to elaborate.

Mosley’s trainer, Nazim Richardson, reviewed the original wrapping of Margarito’s hands and asked commission officials to remove the wraps because of excessive thickness. Extra pads and flecks of a ‘plaster-like substance’ upon the pads raised suspicions Margarito and/or his camp had doctored the gloves to become harder as the match proceeded. Instead, the hands were re-wrapped, and Margarito was trounced by Mosley.


Richardson told George Willis of the New York Post he thought the wraps were handled deceptively in a ‘deliberate’ manner.

Mosley’s promoter, Richard Schaefer, of Golden Boy Promotions told me Monday he was convinced the athletic commission would investigate ‘that hand wrap, that cast, that they took in their box. ... They have a responsibility to look into it. Nazim noticed they tried to slip something in there.’

Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank, which promotes Margarito, said he believed all that was removed was ‘additional gauze,’ but Schaefer saw a photo of what was taken away and said, ‘it’s more than additional gauze, that’s not a good thing to say. There was a white pad with a substance that was a grayish, concrete color on it.

‘The thing is, you wonder now how many times he did it before.’

That indeed is on the mind of Margarito’s defeated July opponent, Miguel Cotto, who lost by 11th-round TKO to Margarito -- his first career defeat.

My Times colleague Kevin Baxter learned Cotto will appear at a news conference in Puerto Rico Wednesday to discuss a new boxing promotion company he’ll oversee. There, he’ll also address questions about whether he thinks Margarito cheated against him.

‘That’s all that anyone is talking about down here,’ a Cotto camp source told Baxter. That individual could not be identified because he is not allowed by the boxer to discuss the controversy publicly.

-- Lance Pugmire