Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., left, lands a punch to the face of Marco Antonio Rubio… (Edward A. Ornelas / Associated…)
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Disgraced and disfigured former world welterweight champion Antonio Margarito said Friday night that he wants to face box-office darling Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in September.
Margarito was at the Casino Del Sol in support of his brother-in-law Hanzel Martinez, who knocked out Jose Miguel Tamayo in one round.
“I’ve been told I could fight on May 26 here in Tucson,” Margarito said. “But if it’s in June, that’s fine, because it’s in September that we’re going to fight [Chavez].”
Margarito said his next fight, whether it’s in May or June, would be a tune-up.
Margarito said he is currently in training and that he weighs only five pounds more than the middleweight limit of 160 pounds, which is where Chavez fights.
He said he has no problems with his right eye. The orbital bone around the eye was broken in a lopsided 2010 defeat to Manny Pacquiao; the same eye was shut in December in a 10th-round technical knockout loss to Miguel Cotto.
Margarito was suspended for a year by the California State Athletic Commission after he was caught with illegal handwraps prior to his 2009 loss to Shane Mosley. Margarito has repeatedly said he didn’t know he was wearing tampered handwraps.
He figures to make sense as a potential opponent for Chavez, a fighter with suspect skills and credentials who has become a major attraction because he is the son of Julio Cesar Chavez.
In Margarito, Chavez would be facing a high-reward, low-risk opponent. Margarito remains one of the sport’s visible figures, but has lost three of his last four fights. Chavez would have a significant size advantage over him, as Margarito fought at 147 pounds at his peak. Both fighters are promoted by Top Rank.
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Antonio Margarito angling to face Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in September