In 1986, Luis Resto was sentenced to 3 years in prison for assault and possession of a deadly weapon. The victim suffered a torn iris, which permanently blurred his vision and cost him his career. The assault was broadcast live, on national television.
On June 16th, 1983, undefeated boxing prospect Billy Collins Jr. entered the ring to face light-punching and lightly regarded journeyman, Luis Resto on the undercard of a Roberto Duran fight. What was expected to a walkover for Collins turned out to be the beating of his life. He was handed a sound thrashing in a 10-round, unanimous decision that left his face unrecognizably swollen. After shaking hands with the victor after the bout, Collins’s father noticed that the padding in Resto’s gloves seemed thinner than normal, and began screaming for an examination of the gloves. The gloves were seized by the New York State Athletic Commission who concluded that an ounce of padding had, in fact, been removed from the gloves.
Resto and trainer, Panama Lewis were both tried and convicted of the assault, with Lewis receiving a six year sentence. Lewis maintains his innocence to this day, but recently Resto has admitted that he knew that Lewis removed the padding and also soaked his hand-wraps in Plaster of Paris.
On June 26th, 2008, undefeated champion Miguel Cotto entered heavily favored Antonio Margarito. Cotto was a certified star in the boxing community and on the precipice of mainstream stardom. With a record of 32-0-0 with 26 KOs, and wins against the likes of Shane Mosley, Zab Judah and Carlos Quintana, Cotto was one of the most feared men in the sport. Of course fights aren’t contested on paper and things don’t always go according to plan. The viewers were treated to a fantastic fight, and a sound beating…one that ended with the fighter’s corner throwing in the towel to protect their man. At the end, Margarito’s arm was raised and a new star was born.
In the moments before Margarito’s next fight, against Shane Mosley, trainer Nazim Richardson requested a re-inspection of Margarito’s wraps which revealed a plaster-like substance. Amazingly, instead of being hauled off in a police cruiser, Margarito was allowed to go on and fight with re-wrapped hands. The fight ended in the 9th, with Margarito being stopped.
Margarito never faced criminal charges, but his license was suspended. A mere seventeen months later, Margarito’s promotion company (Bob Arum’s Top Rank) had him back in the ring, this time in Mexico. A few moths after that, the Texas Boxing Commission found it in its heart to approve Margarito’s application for licensure. Surprise of surprises, Top Rank subsequently announces a title fight between Margs and its top attraction Manny Pacquiao, this Saturday in…you guessed it, Texas Stadium.
This is the punishment Antonio Margarito receives for committing the worst possible crime against his sport: the biggest payday of his life. I’ve never had any respect for Bob Arum, but I used to think pretty highly of Manny Pacquiao. Win or lose, I can’t respect Pac-Man’s decision to fight Margarito. The state of Texas might have given Margs the legal right to fight, but boxers give fights. No self-respecting pugilist should allow a man like Margarito to earn a payday in the ring after what he’s done.