Antonio Margarito's Return Pushed Back to July 7, Middleweight Debut

Antonio Margarito has suffered an injury in training, and his return has been pushed back to July 7. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Antonio Margarito's return to action has been pushed back to July 7, when the veteran Mexican brawler will make his debut at middleweight. Margarito was slated to face Abel Perry in Tucson on May 26, but suffered an injury to his Achilles tendon, Rick Reeno reports. The May 26 show at Casino Del Sol will still go on, with Jesus Soto Karass and Jorge Paez Jr possible to replace him.

Margarito (38-8, 27 KO) hasn't fought since being rather easily outboxed and defeated by Miguel Cotto in December, and the only potential fight in his future that anyone might care about that has been discussed is an eventual shot at Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, which would make Margarito moving to middleweight for a water-testing fight make sense. Chavez vs Margarito isn't much of a fight on paper, but would draw good interest among Mexican boxing fans, most likely, so it's a real possibility, especially since the fight favors Chavez in a big way.

Recently, trainer Robert Garcia said he wasn't sure if he'd be working with Margarito again, as Margarito planned to train in Mexico instead of Garcia's base in Oxnard, Calif., for the May bout, but told Chris Robinson he'd like to coach the fighter again if asked to do so.

Chances are the 34-year-old Margarito doesn't have much at all left in the tank other than pure toughness, and that's not going to get him wins at his age at 160 pounds over anyone who's any good. It seems likely that the Bieber-cut villain will be reduced to a stepping stone role should he continue on much longer, which it may seem like he's too good for, but it's not a fate that has escaped Jose Luis Castillo or a metric ton of other once-good fighters, and Margarito probably does not have the skills to balance aging properly and stay a legitimate factor in the sport.

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