On December 3, 2011, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito meet for their second bout under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden. Hotly debated, for Margarito's alleged illegal hand wraps, the first fight is notable to art & design for what was lacking - both boxers, at the time, were free of tattoos.

Engaging in the sport's traditional post-trauma tattoo binge, the two men now wear significant work. Cotto followed trend and opted for large scale tribal designs. Margarito steered a different course, capping both shoulders with Japanese-inspired imagery. Neither, as we all know, is the first to bring tattoos into the ring.

Boxing and tattoos have a long, long history. Artist design books in the late-1800s and early 20th-century were filled with pugilist imagery, mostly hardened men with fists raised for the fight. That simple professional tattoo has had lasting legacy. When Ricky Hatton feel to Manny Pacquio, the man with the more naive boxing glove ink proved victorious. Latino fighters bring to the ring religious tattoos of varying degrees of success, and in the case of Fernando Vargas poor attempts at relaying the achievement of Aztec heritage.

In any case, there's no shortage of interesting ink in the ring.

And now, the 10 best tattoos in boxing history.

Tags: boxing, tattoos
blog comments powered by Disqus