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Original Issue

Dr. Strangegloves

Was the champ packing his fists with extra wallop?

ANTONIO MARGARITOspent 14 years working for the recognition that comes with being the world'stop welterweight, a distinction he finally earned after defeating Miguel Cottolast July. But on Jan. 24 Margarito not only lost his title to Shane Mosley ona ninth-round TKO in Los Angeles, he also may have irreparably tarnished hisreputation when a prefight inspection revealed a plasterlike substance in hiswraps.

Last week theCalifornia Athletic Commission suspended Margarito and trainer Javier Capetillopending a Feb. 10 hearing. Federal law prohibits any fighter suspended by astate commission for unsportsmanlike conduct from competing in another state,placing his planned rematch with Cotto—scheduled for this summer—injeopardy.

Margarito wasforced to rewrap his hands after a commission official found the foreignsubstance, which was sent to the California Department of Justice for analysis.One of his managers claimed that the wraps were made of legal gauze that hadbeen hardened by the humidity. Even if that explanation satisfies theCalifornia commission, it will not stop the questions being asked about one ofthe division's most potent punchers. Representatives of at least two ofMargarito's past victims—Kermit Cintron and Joshua Clottey—have wondered aloudif Margarito had something in his gloves for their fights.

Emanuel Steward,who was working Cintron's corner when Margarito dropped him in the sixth roundof their fight last April, says he doesn't think Margarito used anythingillegal against his fighter. "It wasn't one big punch that beatKermit," says Steward. "Margarito just wore him down." But Stewardacknowledges that Margarito is going to have a hard time convincing the rest ofthe boxing community. "I'd hate to see him slandered," says Steward."But if [the plaster allegations are] true, it will taint everything hedoes for the rest of his life."

Go Figure

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Concerts that Kid Rock has sold out at The Palace of Auburn Hills; the Pistonshonored the Detroit native by raising a banner with his name and that number tothe rafters.

Seconds of a porn film that some Comcast viewers in Arizona saw during thefourth quarter of the Super Bowl; the cable company is investigating how thegraphic footage replaced the game feed.



UNDER WRAPS Margarito may have had more than gauze in his grip before facing Mosley (left).