The Fleeting Supernova: Antonio El Tornado de Tijuana Margarito

Antonio Margarito’s Close Encounter 

Mexico is a nation that prizes, reveres & fixates upon her many ring champions with unique potency &

antonio margarito

Antonio Margarito

indefatigable zeal. It is a time honoured infatuation that it based on a foundation of the expression & possession of immense & eternal human virtue – traits of self-sacrifice; the assimilation of pain in the unrelenting quest for a legacy worthy of the mythical moniker “Mexican great”. It is not a mantle bestowed without difficulty or with any regularity. Many are called; very few are chosen.

For a fleeting instant Antonio Margarito stood poised to cross the threshold to that most storied pantheon of historic names of the annals of Mexican boxing – with Julio Cesar Chavez, Carlos Zarate, Marco Antonio Barrera & Salvador Sanchez brethren in that most exclusive of sacrosanct pugilistic circles.

It was indeed a false – a very bogus & entirely illegitimate – dawn. Margarito had of course taken a protracted & gruelling route to the summit of his sport; though the demise was rapid, unceremonious & unlike most fighters who experience a rise & a fall; ebb and a flow – his was a collapse without honour or even the superficial veneer of righteousness. If boxing is nothing else; it is a sporting code forged on the supposition of integrity. This may not always be the case in judging & officiating but these transitory, belligerent & largely interchangeable/replaceable figures are rarely fighting for their place in history.

Miguel Cotto vs Antonio Margarito

Cotto vs. Margarito II: Settling some old scores.

It is implausible we will ever have authoritative substantiation of how long loaded wraps were an illegal appendage to the Tijuana Tornado’s armoury. Purists certainly have their reservations. Having made his professional debut at the tender age of 15 Margarito then accrued a stellar record that included notable conquests of Sergio Martinez (in 2000), Frankie Randall (2000); a prime Kermit Cintron (2005); Joshua Clottey (2006); a slightly shot Kermit Cintron (2008) & then of course the zenith of the triumph over the previously undefeated Miguel Cotto in the most anticipated fight of 2008.

Regardless of what transpires Saturday in New York’s doubtless Puerto Rican leaning Madison Square Garden Antonio Margarito has long since forfeited any claim he might once have held to greatness within the sport of boxing. His mortal & career defining sin remains & has to remain too fundamental a transgression & irksome affront to the spirit of the sweet science to ever allow for a full rehabilitation of his image in the eye’s of sport’s hardcore fan base.

Matt Hamilton, for ESNews Reporting!

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Matt Hamilton on Boxing @ ESNewsReporting

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