Like a shriveled up, shrunken-headed, cheat-free version of Barry Bonds returning to the baseball field, Antonio Margarito is preparing to slink his way through the ropes of a professional boxing ring once again.
Top Rank President Todd duBoef has stated that Margarito will be fighting on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey pay-per-view event in Arlington, Texas on March 13.
Margarito is still under suspension by the California State Athletic Commission for being caught with a plaster-like substance in his hand wraps prior to getting into the ring for his last fight in January 2009.
In a karmic irony, after having his hands plastered in the dressing room by trainer Javier Capetillo, he then had his face tended to likewise in the ring by boxer Shane Mosley.
The Tijuana Tornado won’t be eligible for reinstatement until February. His case will be argued at a revocation hearing before the California commission at that time. There is also a possibility that he will be approved for a license to fight in Texas prior to that hearing.
Margarito’s opponent is likely to be Carson Jones (24-7-1, 15 KOs). Jones is a decently skilled boxer puncher who fights with a lot of heart. He has won 11 of his last 12 fights, including a third-round TKO of previously unbeaten Tyrone Brunson in December.
Javier Capetillo—the Jeff Gillooly to Margarito’s Tonya Harding—is not expected to train Margarito for the fight.
When asked about the upcoming fight, Francisco Espinosa, Margarito’s co-manager, recently stated, “Margarito is still suspended, so I cannot confirm that any story is true. We have to submit our application to the commission to get relicensed. Nothing can be done until then.”
Regarding Margarito’s physical condition after the year-long lay-off, Espinosa said, “He’s been training like crazy. He’s in great shape and walking around at 160 pounds.”
That’s less weight than he normally walks around at. I hear that his hands are a little lighter too.
If Barry Bonds had returned to baseball a clean man, I think it’s safe to assume that he wouldn’t have been quite the hitter he once was. I’m guessing the same will be said about Antonio Margarito.