WBO welterweight champion Antonio Margarito (30-4, 21 KOs), The
Ring magazine's No. 1 rated welterweight, will put his title on the
line Friday against the largely unknown but dangerous Argentinean Sebastián
Andrés Luján at The Adrian Phillips Ballroom in Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.
This bout will headline ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights Main Events Special."
Margarito, 26, who has held the WBO title since March of 2002, decided to
return to the 147-pound ranks following a disputed nine-round technical
decision loss (due to a severe cut suffered from an accidental headbutt in
the early rounds) to Daniel Santos for the WBO 154-pound title last
Should Margarito get past Lujan succesfully, he is expected to square off
against interim WBO welterweight champion Kermit Cintron on April 23, a
show that will mark the first Main Events/ESPN pay-per-view venture.
Yet getting by Luján, (22-1-1, 14 KOs) who holds the WBO's No. 2 spot,
will be not be easy, as the Argentinean is a high-volume puncher
with power in both mitts. The bald-headed fighter also comes in supreme
shape for all his fights, and starts fast; all of his KO wins have ended before the fifth round. Yet that also may be a
concern stamina-wise, as he has only gone the 10-round distance
Luján, 25, resembles a better-schooled version of Ricardo Mayorga, as he
throws punches from all angles in rapid-fire succesion. And given
Margarito's history with cuts, he will have to be extra careful as Lujan
tends to lead with his head at the same time as he throws his punches and
often butts his opponents in the process.
This fight will come down to who can keep the fever pitch attack longer,
while also avoiding accidental head clashes. For Luján to win, he has to
hope he can outlast Margarito in the trenches, while the champion should
look for openings to deliver his violent uppercuts, punches that Luján
tends to get tagged by rather easily based on previous history.