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Who Will WBO Boxing Champ Margarito Fight Next?

By Mario Arguera August 1st, 2006 All Boxing Articles

Round and round the rumors go; who will Margarito fight? Nobody knows!

Move over Juan Manuel Marquez, boxing has a new “Avoided One”! Only this fighter is not avoided in the sense that nobody wants to fight him, because he has his veritable pick of the litter from fighters in the 147-154 weight classes. No, this fighter is avoided because, well…because he says he is avoided. Nevermind that recent challenges have picked apart the legend of Antonio Margarito's claim that no man is willing to taste his iron fists. Nevermind that Antonio Margarito, 33-4 (24), is looking at fighters who can do nothing, at best, to boost his career.

His claim rests firmly on the shoulders of one man; a certain Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Unless you have been living under a rock with your eyes closed and your fingers in your ears, you have heard the rumors over the prospect of a Margarito-Mayweather rumble.

The story goes: Mayweather splits from Top Rank; Top Rank CEO, Bob Arum, offers Mayweather eight million dollars to fight lightly heralded welterweight champion Antonio Margarito; Mayweather turns down the offer, citing Margarito’s lack of household name status.

The internet takes the story to print, thus creating such terms as “Fraud Mayweather” and hyping Antonio Margarito as “The most feared man in boxing.” After repeatedly being turned down by Mayweather, Arum took the money off the table, but this only created more drama as one question remained; who will Antonio Margarito fight next?

Recent articles have stated that Goldenboy Promotions are offering three of their men, Ishe Smith, 17-1 (7), Kassim Ouma, 24-2-1 (15), and most notably, Winky Wright, 50-3-1 (25), to Top Rank and their boy wonder. Add an open letter to Margarito and Arum written by three-time world champion, Jose Antonio Rivera, 38-4-1 (24), and it seems like we’re in for some heavy duty boxing, right?

Well, not so fast. It looks as if Margarito and Top Rank are not even looking at these guys right now. Surely, one would think, “The most feared man in boxing” would want to take the hardest challenge, blow him out of the water, and cement his claims, yet we still have no word on who his opponent will be for his December 2 match. Although there have been recent reports that Margarito and Top Rank have their eyes set on Joshua Clottey, no further word has come from Top Rank.

It is quite puzzling how a man, who is turning away so many willing opponents beating on his door for a chance to put him in his place, can still be labeled “The most feared man in boxing"? Granted, some of those guys would not push him into stardom, but a match with a legitimate threat like Winky Wright just might give him a nudge in the right direction. The gauntlet has been set for him, yet he does not seem to be taking the most challenging fights.

After all the hype flooding the boxing message boards, it would be a shame for Margarito to let down his fans who have fought tooth and nail to defend his greatness. Perhaps, when his next opponent is named, he just might get a cool nickname like “Fraud Mayweather”.


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