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article imageOp-Ed: Cotto-Margarito rematch is possible with Puerto Rico as venue

By Leo Reyes     Jun 14, 2010 in Sports
The Cotto-Margarito boxing rematch got closer to becoming official after Cotto confirmed he would be willing to face Margarito for the second time, provided the prize money is right and the venue is set.
There seems to be no obstacle in determining the prize money as both fighters are under contract with Bob Arum's Top Rank Promotions.
In terms of the fight's marketability, there is no doubt a rematch between the two popular boxers will garner huge support from fans of both fighters.
A roadblock to the rematch is the venue.
The boxing world knows Margarito's boxing license was suspended by the California boxing regulators, banning him in the state for one year.
Since California state laws are similar to other US states, it is assumed that other states will also decline Margarito's application for a new license.
Margarito's boxing license was revoked when an illegal substance was found in his hand wraps during a fight with Shane Mosley at the Staples Center in January 2009. He lost the fight via a 9th round TKO.
It should also be mentioned that Cotto's 11th round TKO loss to Margarito in 2008 was the first in Cotto's professional career.
After the hand wraps controversy, assertions were made that Margarito's handlers inserted illegal substance in his hand wraps during the Cotto fight as well. Cotto's team blamed facial cuts and the substantial volume of blood from his head on Margarito's illegal hand wraps.
These were unsubstantiated statements. No one really knows for sure if any illegal acts were committed.
Cotto's controversial loss to Margarito in 2008 must have been a painful experience for the Puerto Rican boxer. It was the first loss in his professional career, made even more painful because he was ahead on two judges' scoreboard at the time of the 11th round stoppage.
The Margarito-Cotto rematch should occur if only to show the world who is the better fighter. With Margarito's tainted reputation as a professional boxer, state sports regulators with jurisdiction over the proposed venue should be vigilant in their jobs in order to achieve a level playing field for both boxers.
Puerto Rico is probably the most desirable venue for the rematch. Aside from the hometown crowd for Cotto, the state has reputable boxing rules and regulations in place comparable to most major states in the US.
Likewise, Puerto Rico's sports regulating body will most likely grant Margarito's license to fight.
In the meantime, WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao has mentioned Cotto for a possible rematch. In the Philippines on Monday, Pacquiao said he will try to satisfy Cott's demands for a rematch.
Pacquiao, of course, is awaiting Floyd Mayweather, Jr.'s decision for a mega fight in November of this year. It is likely Mayweather and his handlers will announce their decision in the next few days.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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