Antonio Margarito fought well tonight through the first eight rounds and then held on to beat Ramon “Inocente” Alvarez (23-5-2, 15 KOs) by a narrow 10 round split decision to win the World Boxing Organization Continental welterweight title at the Baja California Center in Playas de Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico.
Margarito (40-8, 27 KOs) floored the 30-year-old Alvarez in round eight, and had him looking ready to be knocked out. To his credit, Alvarez came back strong in rounds nine and ten to get the better of the 38-year-old Margarito. However, Margarito had built up too much of an early lead for Alvarez to get the win. The judges scored the fight 97-92, 97-92 for Margarito, and 95-94 for Alvarez.
Margarito, 5’11”, used his three inch height and five inch reach advantage to hit Alvarez with jabs from the outside. Alvarez was nearly helpless when Margarito was focusing on using his jab. Margarito could have made the fight a lot easier for himself if he had thrown nothing but jabs because Alvarez looked far too short to land his shots against the taller Margarito. All night long, Alvarez missed with his power shots. The only time that Alvarez was able to land anything was when Margarito would throw his right hand and left hooks. Alvarez was always waiting to counter him with hooks and right hands. However, Alvarez lacked the punching power to worry Margarito despite hitting him with some nice shots in each round.
The win for Margarito is his second of his two-fight comeback after being out of the ring for five years from 2011 to 2016. In Margarito’s previous bout, he defeated Jorge Paez Jr. by a 10 round unanimous decision earlier this year in March.
Overall, Margarito didn’t look all that bad for someone that has had only two fights in the last five years. Margarito’s hand speed, never good to begin with, has definitely slowed even more in the last five years. Margarito used to be able to stand in front of his opponents and chop away at them with one hook after another. Tonight, he couldn’t do that because Alvarez kept hitting him with left hand counters. However, Margarito figured out Alvarez’s tendencies and was able to get the better of him after the 1st round.
Margarito could wind up facing Alvarez’s brother Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in one of those revenge scenarios. I’m sure Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy won’t mind too much. It’ll give them an excuse to delay the Gennady “GGG” Golovkin fight a little while longer. There’s probably enough fans who remember Margarito to make a fight between hm adn Canelo a successful on on HBO pay-per-view. It would give Margarito a nice payday and a new beginning. If he’s smart with his money that he gets from a Canelo fight, he might be able to live off of it for good if he’s careful. He’s got to get the fight through first.
In other action on tonight’s card, undefeated 140lb fighter Pedro Campa (22-0, 18 KOs) had his way in beating David Bency (17-6-1, 10 KOs) by a 7th round knockout. Campa was hitting Bency at will in the 7th when the referee stepped in and halted the fight.