BC-BOX--Cotto-Margarito, 1st Ld-Writethru,215
Margarito not worried if Cotto aims punches at eye
AP Photo NYMA102
NEW YORK -- Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito didn't know for sure until less than two weeks before their fight that they were on for Madison Square Garden.
Margarito's surgically repaired right eye could be part of the strategy and the outcome Saturday in their 154-pound title bout. The New York State Athletic Commission ordered another examination of his eye before licensing him Nov. 22.
Margarito needed surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone after losing to Manny Pacquiao in November 2010.
"He can punch me in the eye," Margarito said at a news conference earlier this week. "It's not going to do any damage."
Cotto said he didn't think Margarito would fight unless he was healthy.
"We prepare for anything," the Puerto Rican star said. "But if we saw some weakness on Margarito," he and his corner would go after it.
Margarito stopped Cotto in the 11th round in a rousing fight in July 2008 to win the WBA welterweight title. Since then, both have been battered by Pacquiao, and Margarito missed more than a year because of a hand-wrapping scandal. In January 2009, Margarito was found to have a plaster-like substance in his wraps before a loss to Shane Mosley.
Cotto accuses Margarito of also using an illegal hand wrap during their bout, which the Tijuana Tornado denies.