Three-time welterweight world champ Antonio Margarito has announced his retirement from boxing. He becomes the third superstar to retire from the sport this week, with the other two men being Shane Mosley and Winky Wright.
During his chaotic career, Margarito went from being one of the sport's most feared men to one of the most controversial fighters of recent times. He retired with a record of 38-8 27 KO's. On paper he had a great career but his career and reputation were tarnished when he was caught using illegal hand-wraps prior to his devastating loss to Shane Mosley. Before this fight, he had his most impressive victory of his whole career, beating Miguel Cotto in 2008. However, that fight will forever be overshadowed by what followed after the Mosley fight.
He was banned for 16 months and then returned in 2010 for a fight against Manny Pacquiao. During this fight, Margarito showed his toughness and fighting pride but suffered a severe beating to a much lighter opponent. After surgery to his eye, he returned to fight Miguel Cotto for a second time. This was the fight when most people realised that Margarito was no longer the same man that he used to be. Cotto out-boxed him for 10 rounds and then the fight was stopped due to Margarito's eye swelling up so he could no longer see out of it.
The Mexican was scheduled to return to the ring in May of this year but that was postponed due to an injury that Margarito picked up in training. It was pushed back to July 7th, then July 21st and now it has been cancelled.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum commented on Margarito's retirement and believed that he retired at the right time: "He said his body was breaking down. We certainly encouraged him to retire. We are gratified for all that we could do for him. We've made him financially secure. We fought like hell for him in order to do so. I'm really proud of what we all did at Top Rank and we wish Tony the best of luck for the rest of his life."
Below is the statement that Margarito released about his retirement:
Dear Family, Friends, and Fans,
After twenty-two years of full dedication to the profession I love, I have made the decision to announce my retirement from boxing.
After much thought and extended conversations with my family and team, we have all agreed that the time to hang up my gloves and begin a new chapter in life has arrived.
I always told my family and team that I would walk away from boxing when I felt I could no longer compete at the level I believed I needed to be, in order to be successful. Although the passion and drive are still there, I have to accept that my time to walk away has arrived.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Michelle and my family for their support, encouragement, and most of all, their love. Not only did they give me their unconditional love and support during the good times, their love and support grew larger during the times that I was at my lowest.
I also want to thank my team, Sergio Diaz Jr and Francisco Espinosa. They are not only my management, they are my family. For sixteen years, they guided my career and did what was best for me. To my trainers, without your drive and motivation, I would not have had the success. You were an integral part of my career. I thank you for your dedication.
I want to thank my promoters, Bob Arum, Todd duBoef, and everyone at Top Rank. I am proud to say that I began and ended my career with a great promotional company. As a non privileged child, I had dreams. I dreamt of giving my family a better life. I dreamt of owning a car, owning a home, traveling the world, and helping others in need. Bob, I thank you for helping me fulfill those dreams.
Finally, I want to thank all of my fans for their love and loyal support. Without you, there would be no Antonio Margarito.
I leave the cuts, bruises, and sweat, but I’m not leaving the sport. I will continue in the sport that gave me so much, Now, however, it is time for me to give back to the sport.