Former welterweight world titleholder Antonio Margarito, who came out of a four-year-plus retirement in March, will make the second fight of his comeback Aug. 13 against Mexican countryman Ramon Alvarez at the Rosarito Convention Center in Rosarito, Mexico, Zanfer Promotions promoter Fernando Beltran announced Friday.
Margarito, who held a world title from 2002 to 2007, and Alvarez, the older brother of lineal middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, will square off in a scheduled 10-round junior middleweight bout. Zanfer said the fight would be televised in the United States on beIN Sports Espanol, the Spanish-language network that recently completed a three-year contract extension with Zanfer to air its fights in the U.S.
Margarito (39-8, 27 KOs), looking terribly rusty and slow, ended his retirement with a unanimous, 10-round decision in a slugfest against Jorge Paez Jr. on March 5 in front of a wild crowd of about 10,000 in Mexico City, although Paez knocked him down in the sixth round.
Margarito, 38, had not fought since December 2011, when his surgically repaired right eye was badly battered in a 10th-round knockout loss to then-junior middleweight world titleholder Miguel Cotto in their hostility-filled rematch. The eye was initially damaged in a beating he took from Manny Pacquiao in his previous bout in November 2010
"I felt a little rusty before the Paez fight after being out for so long, but now we are on pace," Margarito said. "I like the fight against Ramon Alvarez, and the styles will provide an exciting fight for the fans. I'm happy. Ramon and me will be in the ring fighting, and nobody else will be able to help him or me."
Margarito is despised by many for attempting to fight Shane Mosley in a 2009 welterweight title fight in Los Angeles with his hand wraps containing elements of plaster of Paris. Margarito's license was revoked by the California State Athletic Commission, and he was out of action for 16 months as punishment.
Alvarez (23-4-2, 15 KOs), 29, is riding a 10-fight unbeaten streak (9-0 with a no contest due to an accidental head butt) and is excited to face Margarito.
"I have always wanted the fight with Margarito, and now, thanks to Fernando Beltran, it will happen," Alvarez said. "It is an opportunity for my career, and I have no doubt that I will win. I will go out there and give everything as I always do. [Margarito] is a warrior in the ring. He's very strong and has power, but I have faith in my talent and my preparation. Defeating Margarito will lead me to the [junior middleweight] world title and help me in achieving my dream."