LOS ANGELES-In the roomy auditorium of the Ronald Reagan State Building in downtown L.A. sat Antonio ?Tijuana Tornado? Margarito with his black spiky hair expressing his regrets for allowing his trainer to apply an illegal filler to the knuckle pad before his fight with Shane Mosley nearly 20 months ago.
?I want to clean my name,? said Margarito to the California State Athletic Commission on Wednesday that had voted to revoke his license in February 2009. ?I know it?s my fault.?
Those words and many others that sincerely came from Margarito were not enough to offset the 5-1 vote by CSAC to deny the Mexican fighter a license to fight in California and possibly anywhere else in the United States that adheres to the Association of Boxing Commissions.
Margarito left in silence without a whisper after hearing the verdict read. All of his attorneys, managers, promoter?s assistants and matchmakers filed out of the spacious auditorium with nary a word.
The hearing had been requested by Margarito in hopes of getting a license and thus clearing the way for a pending fight with Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 13. Now, Top Rank, that promotes him, issued a statement that the future of the Margarito-Pacquiao fight will be addressed on Friday.
The issue at hand was not sincerity but rehabilitation in the words of the supervising Deputy Attorney General Karen Chappelle. She felt that Margarito?s failure to adhere to boxing rules such as rule 392 that forbids sparring with non-licensed people showed he had not changed his ways and proved he was guilty in the first place.
Nobody knows that rule and it?s doubtful that any of the Commission members know it either, especially considering four of the members are new. But Chappelle and the Commission cited that ignorance of the rule was not an excuse.
Robert Garcia, the famed trainer and former world champion out of Oxnard, also admitted not knowing about the rule.
?I would say not one single trainer knows about that rule,? said Garcia when asked if he reads the rule book.
No excuse according to the Commission.
Another sticking point was that Margarito attempted to seek a license in Nevada before California.
?I think he?s a good man,? said Commissioner Eugene Hernandez of Margarito. ?But guilty of naivet?.?
Nonetheless, Margarito left the state auditorium without a license and possibly without a fight with Pacquiao. That?s about $15 million he can say goodbye to.
Margarito did reveal that he talked once to former trainer Javier Capetillo whose license was also revoked and asked why he used the fill ins to the knuckle pad.
?I said why?? Margarito asked Capetillo over a year ago. ?He said ?don?t ask me that,??
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