After more than four years away from the sport, Antonio "The Tijuana Tornado" Margarito (38-8, 27 KOs) makes his return to the ring on Saturday in Mexico City against Jorge Paez Jr. (39-7-2, 23 KOs).
Margarito turns 38 on March 18, and he last fought in December 2011 when he lost by 10th-round technical knockout to bitter rival Miguel Cotto. Here's the viewing information for Margarito-Paez Jr.:
When: Saturday, March 5, at 11 p.m. ET
TV: beIn Sports Espanol
Hungry for More
Margarito is a former world champion, but his legacy is as much about his use of illegal hand wraps as it is about his courageous and bloody wars in the ring. Back in 2009, before his TKO loss to Shane Mosley, Margarito's hand wraps were found to contain a hardened substance.
Margarito's boxing license was revoked, and his legacy was tarnished permanently. He was able to return to the ring the following year, but he lost two of his last three fights.
It might appear as though Margarito is search of a payday, but he insists money isn't his motivation.
Per ESPN.com's Dan Rafael, Margarito said: "I am ready to return after four years. I have no financial problems. I want my kids to see me fight. They know who their father is."
He also said that his surgically repaired eye, which led to his initial retirement, is better. Margarito would love to ascend to a level that allows him to challenge the best 154-pounders in the world, but he has to defeat Paez Jr. before anyone will entertain that concept.
To add further intrigue to the bout, per Miguel Rivera of BoxingScene.com, Margarito has said that he will retire if he loses to Paez Jr.
Last Time Out
Humbled by Cotto
There's suspicion that Margarito used illegal hand wraps during his first meeting with Miguel Cotto back in 2008. Cotto got his revenge when he scored a stoppage victory over Margarito three years later.
Margarito's right eye was badly damaged during the fight, as he exhibited even worse defense than he normally had in his career. The loss was clearly not the way Margarito wanted to end his career, thus the comeback.
Blown Away by Ocampo
Paez Jr. didn't fare much better than Margarito in his last fight. He was easily outboxed by Carlos Ocampo in November 2015, and he dropped a unanimous decision in Mexico.
Paez Jr. experienced some hype early in his career because of his flamboyant and popular father, Jorge Paez, but he has never proven to be an elite fighter. That dynamic makes him an ideal choice for Margarito's comeback fight.
If Paez uses any movement in this fight, he'll beat Margarito. At 28 years old, he's almost 10 years younger than his opponent, and he's only four months removed from his last fight.
In Margarito's prime, he had problems dealing with opponents who exposed his slow feet and hands. That issue should be magnified at 37 after a four-plus-year layoff. Paez Jr. isn't exactly Floyd Mayweather Jr., but he should be the more athletic fighter in the ring on Saturday.
If he tries to stand and trade with Margarito, he'll be giving his opponent a chance to defeat him. Paez Jr. is a good puncher, but he's not the destroyer that Margarito was earlier in his career.
The power is usually the last thing to go, and it's a good bet Margarito can still punch.
So which one will it be?
Expect Paez Jr. to try to make the fight exciting by engaging his opponent in ill-advised exchanges in front of a Mexican crowd that loves its warriors. Margarito will be the last man standing. He'll stop Paez in the middle rounds.
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