Shane Mosley and Antonio Margarito: Cheaters Treated Differently

Cliff EasthamSenior Writer IIFebruary 24, 2010

Even though they broke different rules, they were both guilty of breaking them. For Mosley it was taking PED's and for Margarito it was making his hands hard as a rock.

Let me say at the beginning that I am not a fan of either of these fighters. Caesar Cliffius is merely playing the devil’s advocate here.

Mosley seems to be forgiven by the media and fans and treated like nothing ever happened. Margarito has earned a new moniker, "MargaCheato," and is treated like he is a leper.

Why should they be treated differently? Mosley contends that he didn't know what his trainer was giving him. Please! We haven't heard that one before have we?  Think of Panama Lewis in the corner of Aaron Pryor in the first Arguello fight. "Two times during the bout Lewis commanded Pryor to drink from a black bottle that many believe contained a performance enhancing substance."    

I watched the fight on closed circuit TV (the precursor to PPV) and watched him drink it and saw him appear to be more refreshed.

Whether Mosley knew what he was doing is inconsequential—we will never know for certain. It is a violation of boxing rules whether the man knew what was going down or not. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. We also cannot be sure in how many fights he had been "juiced."

Mosley wasn't caught through a urine test, he was implicated by the BALCO ilk that has become famous for destroying athlete’s careers. He was alleged by investigator Jeff Novitsky as having used steroids and EPO while training for his second bout with Oscar De La Hoya in 2003.

He confessed his sin, without contrition since his claim is that he did it unknowingly. He testified to a Grand Jury that he did indeed take the steroids without knowledge of it.

BALCO founder Victor Conte said that Mosley took the drugs and knew exactly what he was taking . Conte, who has served four months in the big house for steroid distribution and money laundering, may not be the most credible witness but one would wonder if he would be willing to face a return trip to the joint for lying.

Margarito’s case is, as they say, a horse of a different color. Prior to his welterweight title defense against Mosley in January of 2009, his hand wraps were alleged to have two foreign substances in them. Those two substances were sulfur and calcium, ingredients of plaster of paris, the same thing casts are made of.

As we all know, Margarito fought Mosley and was knocked out in the ninth round. Could he have used the illegal wraps before that night? It is impossible to know for sure, though most people believe he did.

He was banned for fighting in the United States for one year for his misdemeanor. The ban originated with the California State Athletic Commission and was supported by all the other states as well. He could fight outside the United States, but if he did, the ban would probably be for life.

An important question is begging for answers here. Margarito cheated, or was at least, attempting to cheat. He was caught, banned for a year (kangaroo court style) and that was that.

Mosley admits to cheating (without evidence of a urine test), has a hearing before a Grand Jury and received no admonishment from any boxing authority. Why is this? Rules are rules, are they not? Both of these rules violations appear to me to be flagrant.

The rocks that Margarito attempted to use for fists were designed to not only give an advantage, but to inflict punishment. Mosley went south of the rulebook by taking an illegal substance that has proved to create a physical advantage, inducing strength and stamina.

In 1983 undefeated prospect Billy Collins (may he rest in peace) fought a gatekeeper named Luis Resto. Resto’s corner man was none other than Panama Lewis (Pryor’s trainer). Resto’s gloves were impounded at the request of Collins’ father and shown to be modified.

Some of the padding was missing and plaster of paris was found. Collins, a heavy favorite, absorbed a terrific beating while losing a unanimous decision. He suffered eye damage, never fought again and was killed in a car wreck at the age of 22.

That fight with Resto was overturned by the NY State Boxing Commission and ruled a no contest. So why wasn’t Mosley’s win over De Le Hoya rescinded? He fought with a clear (and clean) advantage and was awarded an unjust decision.

Where shall we draw the line in the sand, boxing fans? You can keep hitting someone in the testicles (Hopkins), head butting (Holyfield), or sneaking in drugs, but you are not allowed to touch the gloves.

I am not stating that what Margarito was preparing to do, and allegedly had done before, was not more severe than the rule infraction of Mosley. I am saying that a punishment should fit a crime.