By Zach Arnold | September 3, 2015
Tuesday’s California State Athletic Commission meeting in Los Angeles was a circus and the star of the show was Antonio Margarito’s former trainer, Javier Capetillo.
If you’re a veteran reader of this site, you know the story about Antonio Margarito’s illegal hand-wraps that were caught before his January 2009 Staples Center fight against Shane Mosley. Margarito’s trainer, Javier Capetillo, was suspended in 2009 after athletic inspectors Dean Lohuis and Mike Bray were alerted by Shane Mosley’s trainer Naazim Richardson that Margarito had plaster wraps. Che Guevara, working as an athletic inspector at Staples Center, missed it. When it came time to suspend Margarito and strip Capetillo of his license, Lohuis and Bray were thrown under the bus while Guevara was promoted to Lohuis’s position as Chief Athletic Inspector.
Guevara, a main player in that Margarito incident, was at Tuesday’s athletic commission to receive a posthumous award for the late Michael King, a boxing promoter who made his King World fortune syndicating Oprah Winfrey’s TV show and by acting as a mega-bundler in Pacific Palisades for President Barack Obama.
Rather than asking Guevara to stick around and testify about what Capetillo had done, he was nowhere to be found during Tuesday’s hearing regarding Capetillo appealing the Athletic Commission for reinstatement.
There was a lot of Barry Horowitz-style hand-patting at Tuesday’s meeting for both the NABF & WBC giving Andy Foster awards and acknowledgement of service performed as Executive Officer. Perhaps they haven’t been paying attention to what is going on with the Javier Capetillo licensing situation in California.
The facts and the arguments
In September of 2014, Javier Capetillo filled out an application for a second’s license and sent the application to the Sacramento office. In November of 2014, he received a letter acknowledging that the front office got the application and included a receipt for his payment.
This is where everything went to hell in a hand-basket.
The Attorney General’s office argued on Tuesday that what Capetillo received in the mail was simply acknowledgement that they had received his application and money — nothing more. Capetillo claimed that he got his second’s license and that he had two conversations with the front office before applying to get licensed in Nevada based on his new California license.
In March of 2015 at an Al Haymon PBC event for Spike TV in Ontario, Capetillo showed up to work a boxer’s corner. He was stopped by Andy Foster at the show and told he could not work. Capetillo claims that Foster told him he received his license in error and sent a denial of license letter on March 11th.
The problem with the AG’s office arguing that the Athletic Commission didn’t give Capetillo a license is that their own documentation, which we clearly highlighted on the web site, showed month after month that the front office acknowledged giving Capetillo his new license.
When I filed a Public Record Act request to get the application form that Capetillo had filled out for his second’s license, Sacramento denied the PRA request on the grounds of privacy because they supposedly didn’t grant Capetillo a license. In other words, they were stonewalling. Exhausting administrative remedy, we filed a formal appeal regarding our PRA to get Capetillo’s licensing application sheet — and were promptly told by DCA that they had made an administrative error in claiming Capetillo had been given a license and that they wouldn’t screw up again.
How do you rehabilitate someone who is suspended for life?
When Javier Capetillo was stripped of his license, it essentially was the equivalent of the death penalty. Six years after losing his license, here he was trying to get reinstated after the front office screwed up and gave him a new license.
Instead of focusing on the front office screwing up, the Attorney General’s office moved the goalposts at Tuesday’s meeting by claiming that the burden of proof for reinstatement was on Capetillo and that he had to show that he was a rehabilitated person after having his license stripped.
Putting aside the fact that the AG’s office moved the goalposts and changed the legal arguments at stake, Javier Capetillo was still the same old Javier Capetillo when discussing what had happened. He used the Pete Rose playbook and it got him nowhere. He maintained the incident with Margarito’s hand wraps was a mistake, an accideent.
“I believe a lot in God. Those who believe in God loves others and I’ve never done any harm to anybody in my life, to the contrary.
“My weakness has been to seek out God.”
Capetillo claimed he went into deep depression after losing his license.
“The only thing I’m asking you is a chance to work. That’s it.”
Andy Foster stated that he would continue to deny any future applications filled out by Javier Capetillo.
The Athletic Commission board denied Capetillo’s appeal for his new second’s license. Van Gordon Sauter, Governor Jerry Brown’s brother-in-law, called out Tuesday’s hearing for Capetillo.
“I personally find this an unrewarding experience. Did this man get a hearing? My point of view would be no. I think if he would have had an effective attorney, he would have been in a far stronger position than he now possesses. So I find myself quite troubled by this.
“I’m in no way diminishing the egregiousness of the offense of which he was found guilty. He’s coming in here to make an appeal and I don’t think it’s an equitable process.”
Capetillo then played the “parole” card by pontificating that if some murderers can get pardoned, why can’t he?
“How do you know I don’t have remorse? We’ve never shared time together. God bless you.”
Intriguingly enough, Carvelli criticized Andy Foster’s front office for creating confusion by sending a receipt to Capetillo in the mail after he had filled out his second’s application because it led to the confusion that created this circus in the first place.