Tag Archives: Margarito

The Angulo-Margarito Paradox

Alfredo Angulo

Alfredo Angulo

It seems that emerging junior middleweight star Alfredo Angulo (19-1, 16 KOs) is facing deportation to Mexico. It’s been suspected in boxing circles for some time that he’s had legal issues regarding his immigration status, but BoxingScene.com released a report this morning that verifies this hunch.

First off, the article, quite sensationally entitled “Alfredo Angulo’s U.S. Career Crumbles, HBO Walks,” is written by Michael Marley. Anyone familiar with Mr. Marley’s work will immediately recognize his penchant for histrionics. His assertion that he will never again fight in the U.S., or on a major television outlet, is questionable, if not laughable. Angulo and his team are going to seek a visa for re-entry after the legal issues are settled (and, to the best of my knowledge, are allowed to do so), and are otherwise cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). And anyway, if Antonio Margarito can get back on television — in a headline, PPV fight, no less — then I would suspect Angulo will be able to do the same.

If HBO indeed refuses to work with Angulo, their rationale can be considered little better than a joke. The political climate around undocumented immigration is too polarized and “heated,” but it’s not too much to invite back a man who at least once, likely more often, entered the ring wearing loaded wraps? At least in terms of boxing legality, one of these offenses far outweighs the other. Since when did America’s political throes effect the viewing tendencies of boxing fans? If the experience of Mike Tyson is any indication, the boxing public will gladly welcome Angulo back into the limelight — if not on HBO, then certainly on Showtime or ESPN.

What’s more worrisome is Bob Arum’s reaction. His incredibly hostile reaction to the news, as reported in Marley’s article, indicates another ludicrous element of this story vis-a-vis Margarito. Arum is willing to stand behind a known cheater of the most nefarious ilk, but believes no one will touch an “illegal” immigrant. Granted, it’s apples and oranges — Top Rank doesn’t promote Angulo. This may still go south (no pun intended) promotionally for Angulo, given that Gary Shaw is already unhappy with him for his refusal to accept a $750,000 deal to fight middleweight champ Sergio Martinez. If it’s true that Shaw was left in the dark as to Angulo’s movements, and if the legal battle turns out to be unexpectedly difficult, this episode may provide an opportunity to dump him from his promotional lineup. I would bet against such a development.

I’m not naive. I know promoters lie and cheat and are hypocritical, but Arum’s unfailing commitment to a universally reprehensible character like Margarito and his conversely expressed concern for public sentiment in the case of a universally appreciated all-action fighter like Angulo is still unsettling, if not all-together sickening. Let’s hope Shaw doesn’t see things that way.

Considering the legal tussle Top Rank is now in with Golden Boy Promotions, maybe other promoters (such as Shaw) are wary about partaking in any protracted legal proceedings, and more so, about further undermining boxing’s suffering credibility. But regardless of Marley’s strong assertions, “El Perro” will be back, with or without HBO.

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The Most Resurgent Old Man

Mosley Destroys Margarito

1/24/09: Shane Mosley TKO9 Antonio Margarito

Watching Shane Mosley, 37, tear down the formidable (and formerly indestructible) façade of Antonio Margarito brought the greatest joy to me, as it should have for all boxing fans who weren’t invested, monetarily or otherwise, in a Margarito win. With each Mosley overhand right, another brick was knocked loose until, in the ninth round, the wall collapsed.

And what a sweet collapse it was. Even more so than Bernard Hopkins’ upset of Kelly Pavlik, Mosley’s triumph was a shock. Like Hopkins, Mosley was older and coming off a relatively unsavory performance. Unlike Hopkins, Mosley was the smaller man and much of the discussion focused on the round in which “Sugar” might fall. Just like Hopkins, Mosley annihilated the younger, favored champion.

But most significantly, Mosley’s win differs from Hopkins’ in that it has utterly changed the landscape of boxing. Or at least the welterweight division.

There was no chance in hell that Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao (i.e. the two most important active pugilists) was going to challenge Margarito for the title. But Mosley’s win pulls them back into the fray, competing for a legitimate championship within a division again instead of operating in the De La Hoya megafight-to-megafight paradigm.

Being tossed around now is a sort of four man tournament. The Ricky Hatton-Pacquiao showdown is set for May 2 (after some hassle). The other half of the equation would be a fight between Mosley and Mayweather, which may be more a fancy of boxing logic than a genuine possibility. For now, as is often the case regarding the “Pretty” one, such talk consists only of hopeful speculation.

Regardless of what the ever-reluctant Mayweather decides, Mosley’s right hands burst open and already wide-open welterweight division that has more parity than Big East basketball. Just look at the recent action:

Paul Williams beats Margarito. Carlos Quintana, who was knocked out by Miguel Cotto, beats Williams, who knocks out Quintana in the rematch. Cotto beats Mosley, who twice beat De La Hoya, who gave Mayweather a life-and-death struggle. Margarito takes apart Cotto with surprising ease. Mosley struggled before knocking out Ricardo Mayorga, who was obliterated by De La Hoya, who himself was embarrassed by Pacquiao. Mosley then comes back to knock out Margarito, who has a rematch with Cotto, which could coincide with the initiation of the aforementioned four-man tournament.

I haven’t even mentioned Andre Berto or Joshua Clottey, who likely would’ve beaten Margarito if not for injuring his hands early in their December 2006 match up. Berto, Clottey and Williams are the odd-men-out, the wild cards in a wild division. These are glory days, and we have old man Mosley to thank for not allowing the division to rest.

Meanwhile, Pavlik has moved back to middleweight where he is still the boss, and Hopkins has no logical opponent at 175.

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