Former welterweight world titleholder Antonio Margarito will return to the ring for the first time in 13 months when he takes on Carson Jones on Sept. 2, both fighters’ camps told ESPN on Friday.
The scheduled 10-round junior middleweight fight will take place in Chihuahua, Mexico, and be televised in the United States on beIN Sports Espanol.
The 39-year-old Margarito (40-8, 27 KOs) fought twice in 2016, scoring 10-round decision wins against Jorge Paez Jr. in March and Ramon Alvarez (Canelo Alvarez’s older brother) in August. Those bouts came after Margarito ended a four-year-plus retirement.
He held a 147-pound world title from 2002 to 2007 but looked rusty and slow in his comeback fights and got knocked down by Paez. He had not fought since having his surgically repaired right eye battered in a 10th-round knockout loss to then-junior middleweight world titleholder Miguel Cotto in their hostility-filled rematch in December 2011. Margarito’s eye still looks deformed.
The eye was initially damaged in a bad beating he took from Manny Pacquiao in November 2010. Margarito has been a polarizing figure 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 had his license revoked by the California State Athletic Commission and was out of action for 16 months as punishment.
Jones (40-11-3, 30 KOs), 30, of Oklahoma City, has won three fights in a row against low-level opposition. His last fight was in November. But he has faced several quality opponents and is probably best known for his two nontitle fights with Kell Brook, who went on to win a welterweight world title.
Jones gave Brook all he could handle in a 12-round majority decision loss in Brook’s hometown of Sheffield, England, in 2012. In the 2013 rematch, Brook knocked him out in the seventh round.