One of the interesting personality differences on display in the HBO Face-Off segment between pay-per-view headliners Miguel Coot and Antonio Margarito was when the question of how far each man is willing to go came up. Margarito said that he was willing to die in the ring while Cotto said that he sees no reason to go that far, and that he has a family to think about.
Both had a stance that was easy to understand. Margarito isn't saying he wants to die in the ring, simply that he will not stop trying to win, that he will never look for a way out. Cotto is a family man and is fighting as much to provide a good life for his wife and children as he is to build some great legacy.
One would think, given the bad blood between the two, that Margarito would latch on to this perceived weakness in the media build up to Saturday's rematch. Instead, he seemed very understanding of Cotto's position. Via the Examiner:
"I said I would (be willing to) die in the ring and I meant it," Margarito said. "But we've both got our families so I can understand why he is saying he would not be willing to die in a fight."
But to be clear, Margarito isn't concerned about Cotto's health:
"We're different. Maybe Cotto will take a knee and I won't. I just know in this fight that I will beat him by knockout and they will take Cotto out of the ring on a stretcher."
Of course, this whole situation with Margarito's willingness to die in the ring seems sharply opposed to what Margarito said on the second episode of HBO's 24/7 when he said that he would not fight if he thought that his eyesight in his surgically repaired eye was in danger:
"I went to the eye doctor and he said I was 100 percent. If I was told by the doctor that fighting could cause me to lose my eyesight, then I would have retired. I would not be fighting again if that was my situation."
I honestly believe that statement to be a screen for those still hung up on New York granting him a license to fight. I think Margarito is probably willing to risk the possibility of being blind in one eye for a $2.5 million payday in the fight. It's likely as big of a payday as Margarito will ever have again in his career. He's already to the point where every license for every fight is a battle with commissions, so yes, I think it's entirely reasonable to think that this is an amount of money worth risking half your vision on.