Former Welterweight juggernaut Antonio "The Tijuana Tornado" Margarito squeaked out a split decision victory on Saturday night in Baja California, Mexico against Ramon Alvarez, brother of boxing star Canelo Alvarez, winning on scores of 97-92 from two judges, with one scorer seeing the bout 95-94 for Alvarez.
Margarito (40-8-0, 27 KO), started the fight slowly, allowing Alvarez to dictate the tempo for the first few rounds with his jab, consistent pressure, and overall solid body work. However the tide changed around the 5th frame when the former champ started finding a home for his stinging jab, pushing his enemy back to the ropes multiple times. Margarito continued to make Alvarez (23-5-2, 15 KO) miss and was landing some beautiful counter shots that left his foe looking befuddled throughout the middle rounds.
The action escalated in the 8th, as the vastly superior conditioning, especially compared to his last fight, of "The Tijuana Tornado" started showing. Alvarez was caught with a straight right hand that send him flailing to the mat. He survived the round, but could not muster enough productive offense from that point on to make a difference in the outcome of the fight. The older sibling of Canelo shook Margarito a time or two in the last two rounds, but the Mexican's chin withstood the pressure as the former champ cruised to the final bell.
Margarito has been adamant about wanting another title shot, however it will probably require at least one more victory against a legitimate contender before he achieves his goal of another opportunity at a world belt. While Margarito is well past his physical prime, he showed that there is still some pop left in his gloves, although that may not be enough in an absolutely loaded Welterweight division. The good news for the 38 year old from Tijuana is that he still carries a well known name into a big fight, which could help parlay him into another large payday for a strap in the very near future.