Antonio Margarito is ending his 18-year professional fighting career.
The 34-year-old boxer said the following on his Facebook page, via Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times:
After twenty-two years of full dedication to the profession I love, I have decided to announce my retirement from boxing. After thinking broadly and in detail with my family and my team, we have come to the conclusion that it’s time to hang my gloves and start a new chapter in my life. I’m leave boxing but I will continue within the sport.
Margarito finished his career with a 38-8 record, with 27 of those victories coming by knockout. He had been struggling with injuries to both his Achilles tendon and his eye.
He was born in Torrance, Calif. but is a resident of Tijuana, Mexico. He earned the nickname El Tornado de Tijuana because of his aggressive, punch-happy fighting style.
Margarito was considered one of the best welterweight fighters in the world and held championship belts at multiple points during his career.
But the legitimacy of his victories was forever tainted in 2009 when illegal plaster inserts from his hand wraps were discovered before a fight with Shane Mosley at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, as noted by Dan Rafael of ESPN.com.
Rafael also cites Margarito's trainer, Javier Capetillo, as claiming that he accidentally put the wrong wraps on his fighter, and that Margarito knew nothing about any illicit activity.
He was banned from fighting in California but was allowed to box in Texas. He fought Manny Pacquiao at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington in November 2010 and lost by a unanimous decision.
His last fight was last December. It was a rematch with Miguel Cotto, who he had beaten before fighting Mosley, though Cotto publicly doubted the authenticity of Margarito’s performance following the revelations of the Mexican fighter's hand wraps.
Cotto won by technical knockout after imposing serious damage to Margarito's eye, an injury from which Margarito has still not yet recovered.