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Antonio Margarito vs. Ramon Alvarez tonight

Antonio Margarito

By Dan Ambrose: Antonio Margarito (39-8, 27 KOs) will be attempting to put himself in position for a big money fight tonight when he faces Ramon “Incente” Alvarez (23-4-2, 15 KOs) in a fight at the Rosarito Convention Center, Mexico, Baja California.

On the surface, this simple match-up might not seem like much to most boxing fans, as neither of these guys has the ability to win world titles. However, the 38-year-old former IBF/WBA/WBO welterweight champion Margarito has an outside chance of getting a fight against Alvarez’s younger brother Saul “Canelo” Alvarez if he beats Ramon tonight.

It’s still unclear if Margarito would be given a fight against Canelo, because it would require that Margarito’s promoters at Top Rank work with Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy, but there is a chance that we could see that fight take place.

Tonight’s fight between Margarito and Alvarez will be shown live on beIN Sports Espanol (USA), TV Azteca 7 (Mexico). The start time is at `11:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. PT.

Margarito has a very good chance of beating the 29-year-old Alvarez if his surgically repaired right eye holds up under the punishment of Alvarez’s punches. Alvarez isn’t a big puncher by any means, but he might not need to be a big puncher for him to close up Margarito’s right eye. That eye is a big question mark in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans, as it closed up in Margarito’s second fight against Miguel Cotto in 2011.

Margarito has fought only once since then in beating Jorge Paez Jr. by a 10 round decision last March. Paez Jr. isn’t a puncher, so that might explain why Margarito’s eye was able to hold together. Margarito’s right eye looks really bad, and slightly sunken in. He had his orbital bone fractured in his 12 round decision loss to Manny Pacquiao six years ago in 2010. While Margarito had several surgeries on the eye since then, it’s left his eye looking different from his left eye.

It doesn’t help Margarito that he was out of the ring from 2011 to 2016. He missed a lot of years of his career. He’s back, but older, slower and not the fighter that he was during his best years in the welterweight division.

With Margarito now fighting in the junior middleweight division, it’s not likely that he’s going to be able to amount to much in this weight class. You can argue that the weak link of the current champions at 154 is WBO belt holder Liam Smith, who will be defending his title next month against Canelo on September 17 at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Canelo will likely win that belt and give it up. Margarito might be able to get a ranking with the World Boxing Organization if he beats Alvarez tonight. It would be big news if Margarito defeats Alvarez and is put in the position to fight for the WBO title once it’s vacated by Canelo, if he beats Smith next month.

Margarito would likely want a rematch against Cotto, who he beat in their first encounter in 2008. However, the odds of Cotto giving Margarito a third fight are slim and none, even though it would probably be a bigger fight than some of the guys that he’s been looking at recently for opponents.

Cotto was reportedly interested in fighting Juan Manuel Marquez and Brand Rios. Margarito would fit into that group quite nicely. All three of those fighters are past their best, and it’s unlikely that they could beat Cotto at this point in their careers.

Margarito was dropped in the 6th round by Paez Jr. in his last fight. That was not a good sign for Margarito with him getting knocked down by a guy with little punching power. Margarito’s right eye looked bad as well in that fight.

In tonight’s fight, Margarito will be lucky if he can go the distance without his eye swelling shut on him. I can’t imagine his eye being able to take a lot of punishment from Alvarez. That’s not to say that Alvarez is a huge puncher. I don’t think it takes a lot of power to close up Margarito’s right eye.

Margarito was given clearance to fight by the Mexican officials despite his right eye not looking great. If Margarito wins tonight, it’s going to be interesting to see if he can receive clearance to fight in the U.S. If he can only fight in Mexico, then it’s probable that he won’t ever get a fight against Canelo.


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