By Ian S Palmer
Former IBF and WBA Welterweight Champion Antonio Margarito of Mexico is back this Saturday, September 2nd when he takes on Carson Jones of Oklahoma City in Chihuahua, Mexico. The 10-round junior middleweight bout can be seen live on BEIN Sports Espanol and Azteca TV. Margarito last fought on August 13th when he beat Ramon Alvarez by a 10-round split decision. Jones was last in action in November when he beat Ben Hall by a sixth-round TKO. Margarito returned to the ring after a four-and-a-half-year layoff in March of 2016 when he beat Jorge Paez Jr. by a close 10-round unanimous decision.
Margarito decided to hang up his gloves in December of 2011 when he was stopped in the 10th round by Miguel Cotto. However, he decided to come back in early 2016 and will now be fighting for the third time since then. He was inactive due to a problem with his right eye, but all appears to be well now for the 39-year-old former world champ. He’ll climb into the ring with a record of 40-8 along with 27 Kos. Margarito originally suffered his eye injury during a 12-round points loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2010 when he left the ring with a torn retina and fractured orbital bone.
The former champ underwent surgery on several occasions to repair the damage and then took on Cotto in a rematch for his second straight loss. Margarito has to get past Jones if he has any chance of becoming a top-10 contender again and he’d also have to pass eye tests if he hopes to receive a license to fight in the U.S. There are many fans and boxing people who feel Margarito shouldn’t be allowed to compete anymore after being found guilty of illegal hand wraps before his 2009 TKO loss to former champion Shane Mosley.
Margarito was banned for a year and then fought three more times before hanging up his gloves. However, it’s widely believed that Margarito had been wrapping his hands illegally and hardening them with plaster of Paris for most of his career until getting caught. Since the scandal, Margarito’s power has been noticeably absent and his hand speed more or less disappeared. Margarito stands 5-feet-11-inches tall and has a reach of 73 inches. He’s boxed 297 rounds since 1994 and his current knockout percentage is 55 per cent.
His losses have been at the hands of Cotto, Pacquiao, Mosley, Paul Williams, Daniel Santos, Rodney Jones, Larry Dixon and Victor Lozova. However, he has a pretty good chin as Cotto and Mosley were the only two to stop him. His biggest wins were over Cotto, Sergio Martinez, Danny Perez, David Kamau, Frankie Randall, Antonio Diaz, Andrew Lewis, Hercules Kyvelos, Kermit Cintron (twice) and Joshua Clottey.
The 31-year-old Jones has a record of 40-11-3 with 30 kos. He turned pro back in 2004 and has 295 rounds under his belt since then. Jones has fought some decent opposition over the years such as Kell Brook, Alfonso Gomez, Roberto Garcia, Freddy Hernandez, Brian Rose, and Jesus Soto Karass. But the problem is that he lost to all of them. However, he did manage to stop Rose in the first round in their first meeting in February of 2015. He has a hard time when he steps up in class, which is what he will be doing against Margarito.
Jones is 5-feet-10-inches tall with a 72-inch reach and has pretty good power as his current knockout ratio stands at 54 per cent. He has a decent chin as well as he’s been stopped just three times in his 11 losses. Jones has been a tough opponent for everybody he’s faced and he often surprises his opponents with his speed and power. However, his main problem throughout his career has been a lack of consistency. He can ban an elite boxer one night and basically a journeyman or Grade B opponent the next time out.
Margarito has done okay since his comeback even though he’s lost some power and speed. You never know what to expect from Jones and that’s what makes this a tough prediction. However, since he’s at home, I’ll go with Margarito.