Antonio Margarito returns to the squared circle on Saturday, Sept. 2, at Chihuahua, Mexico, opposing Oklahoma City’s Carson Jones. This is Margarito’s first fight in almost 13 months and his third fight following a 52-month layoff prompted by an eye injury and other issues. The bout will air on Azteca TV in Mexico and on the Spanish-language beIN channel in the United States.
Margarito (40-8, 27 KOs) began his comeback with a hard-fought victory over Jorge Paez Jr., coming off the deck to win a unanimous decision. More recently he scored a split decision over Ramon Alvarez, the older brother of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. That 10-round contest was held in Margarito’s hometown of Tijuana.
Margarito’s signature win was an 11th round stoppage of previously undefeated Miguel Cotto in July of 2008. With the victory, Margarito added the WBA world welterweight title to his collection of title belts.
Margarito started slowly against Cotto, but came on in the second half of the fight and battered the Puerto Rican into submission. Cotto’s corner threw in the towel in the 11th round. But that triumph became tainted when Margarito was caught attempting to go into his next fight against Shane Mosley with a plaster-of-Paris-like substance in his hand wrappings. Cotto dominated the rematch, casting more suspicion on Margarito’s triumph in their initial encounter.
Margarito suffered an eye injury in a bout with Manny Pacquiao and aggravated the injury in his second encounter with Miguel Cotto. He is now 39 years old and purportedly has financial problems exacerbated by steep alimony payments. It speaks well of him, however, is that h stayed in shape during his hiatus. He carried 154 ½ pounds for Ramon Alvarez, only two pounds more than he had carried for Margarito-Cotto II in 2011.
Carson Jones (40-11-3) scored his most notable wins against former U.S. Olympic silver medallist Ricardo Williams in 2011 (TKO 4) and Brian Rose in 2015 (TKO 1). The 31-year-old Oklahoman has had six of his last eight fights in England where he was 2-3-1. Two of those losses came at the hands of Kell Brook and the other at the hands of the aforementioned Rose in a rematch.
Margarito has his eye (no pun intended) on one last big money fight, either against the winner of Golovkin-Canelo or a rematch with Miguel Cotto. Should either materialize (doubtful propositions), it would likely be held in Texas, one of the few options as the “Tijuana Tornado” would not be licensed in most other places.
In the semi-windup, Johnny Navarrete (33-10-1) opposes the aforementioned Ramon Alvarez (24-6-2). Hot prospect Jaime Munguia (24-0) opens the show in a 10-round super welterweight contest with Uriel Gonzalez (16-2-1). Check local listings for start times.
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