[Update below: The L.A. Times is reporting on what’s happening at the hearing as we speak. It’s getting bad in there.]
Two indicators of the way things will be presented by Antonio Margarito’s team at today’s California State Athletic Commission hearing RE: his allegedly loaded gloves.
First, promoter Bob Arum:
Arum contends Margarito did not knowingly cheat, and speculated the “foreign substance” will be revealed as nothing as sinister as the “Plaster of Paris,” or “gray, concrete-color” stuff that Mosley’s camp has described it as.
Second, Margarito’s sterling legal representative:
Margarito’s attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, said he’ll argue the Tijuana fighter was unaware of any suspicious material being put on gauze pads placed above his knuckles.
“My major point is that he didn’t know anything about this,” Petrocelli told The Times. “He was just sitting there in a chair, holding his hands up to be taped. . . . Antonio did absolutely nothing wrong.”
So it seems there will be an acknowledgment that there was something in the gloves (although nothing TOO bad) and the argument they’ll use to keep Margarito out of trouble is that he was just out of the loop. We’ll see if that works.
And just for the sake of balance, here’s some suspicion from a former Margarito sparring partner:
“To be honest, it happened so quick that I don’t even know what happened,” [Rashad] Holloway, 9-1 (5 KO), tells BoxingScene.com. “I remember he threw a wild right hand and I slipped it and he switched over to a southpaw stance and threw a left uppercut. And it landed.
“When it first happened, I didn’t know what hit me. I’ve been hit 50 million times in my career, but I’d never been hit with a shot that hurt like that. It felt like a hard object hit me in the face. I thought he hit me with the palm of his hand. It wasn’t like a normal punch. It didn’t feel like a padded glove hit me. It was like a solid, hard impact.
“It felt like I had been hit with a bag of rocks.”
[Updates: State attorney general recommends “harshest penalty possible” for Margarito and his trainer. Inspector Che Guevera (what a name!) speaks on the foreign substance, which still won’t be identified until mid-March: “It was sweat-soaked, thinner and harder in certain areas, not hard as a rock, but firm and hard,” Guevara said, adding it had a stain “like old blood” on it. “It was not flexible. It was very firm.”]