Antonio Margarito retiring

By Michael Collins: Former IBF/WBA/WBO welterweight champion Antonio Margarito (38-8, 27 KO's) is hanging up the gloves after toiling away for 18 years as a pro, according to the latest boxing news. The 34-year-old Margarito says his body is breaking down and he needs to step away from the sport. This news isn't all the surprising because with Margarito's right eye badly injured from his loss to Manny Pacquiao two years ago, it was only a matter of time before it caused him to retire.

Promoter Bob Arum told RingTV "Margarito gave us a heads up he was going to retire. He said his body was breaking down. We certainly encourage him to retire."

Margarito's right eye was operated on three separate times after he suffered a fractured right orbital bone in the loss to Pacquiao. Although the surgeries were technically a success, Margarito's right didn't look good and his eye quickly closed up on him in his only fight since the surgeries, a 10th round stoppage loss to Miguel Cotto last December.

Besides the right eye injury, Margarito also looked like he'd slowed down in terms of hand speed after his year suspension. He was never fast to begin with, but he looked incredibly slow - and weak - when he came back and fought Pacquiao in 2011. The old power was gone and all that was left was a slow, wide open fighter.

Margarito had fight coming up next month on July 21st against Abel Perry. It was a winnable fight for Margarito, but with his right eye problem, you never know what would happen.

Margarito lost a year in the prime of his career from 2009 to 2010 when Margarito was found to have plaster in his hand wraps before his bout with Shane Mosley in January 2009. Margarito subsequently had his boxing license revoked. However, after serving a year of his suspension, Margarito was able to get his boxing license back when he applied to the Texas State Athletic Commission. Margarito then fought Pacquiao and took a bad beating in losing by a lopsided 12 round decision in November 2010. In hindsight, the bout probably should have been stopped early in the fight when it was clear that Margarito was just taking punishment and his right eye looked badly swollen.

Article posted on 08.06.2012

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