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Antonio Margarito: I'm no criminal

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2011 file

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2011 file photo, Miguel Cotto, left, of Puerto Rico, and Antonio Margarito, of Mexico, face off while promoting during a news conference in Los Angeles. (Credit: AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Antonio Margarito a criminal? Not if you let him tell the story.

There is clearly no love lost between Margarito and Miguel Cotto. The two went back and forth at a every entertaining press conference at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday afternoon.

The two will square off in an HBO pay-per-view welterweight bout at the Garden on Saturday night.

“Here comes the criminal! Open the doors to the criminal!,” said Margarito. “I’ve been called a criminal by the man next to me [Cotto]. I don’t know why? I don’t beat up my family. He can hit my eye as much as he wants. He hits like a little girl. Super flyweights hit harder. He will never beat me.”

Margarito was caught trying to use loaded gloves before a lopsided loss to Shane Mosley at the Staples Center January 30, 2009. Margarito’s licensed was revoked for a year by the California State Athletic Commission.

Since the incident, many have questioned whether Margarito’s win over Cotto July 26, 2008 was a result of him using loaded gloves. It’s a charge that he has vehemently denied. Margarito has shifted blame to his former trainer Javier Capetillo.

As for Cotto, he is thoroughly convinced Margarito used illegal raps.

“If you don’t know what a criminal means, you can look it up in the dictionary, it’s someone who uses a weapon,” said Cotto. “We spoke about the wraps on [HBO’s] Face Off. I showed you a picture of them. You are like a child. You are an embarrassment to boxing.”

Cotto isn’t the only boxer questioning Margarito’s truthfulness.

Kermit Cintron, who lost twice to Margarito by knockout, told ESPN.com that he has had thoughts about it, but stopped short of accusing him.

Said Cintron: "Was there a lot of questions in my mind about it? Yes, but I have no proof to prove that he did use plaster, and I believe that if you're caught once, what makes [anyone] think that you haven't done it before?"
 

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