Boxer Antonio Margarito announced his retirement from the sport on Thursday. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)
LAS VEGAS -- Boxer Antonio Margarito, whose career was stained by the 2009 confiscation of plaster inserts inside his hand wraps, announced his retirement Thursday.
"After twenty-two years of full dedication to the profession I love, I have decided to announce my retirement from boxing,” Margarito said on his Facebook page. “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 (38-8, 27 knockouts) was working to fight on a card in Tucson, Ariz., in July, but an Achilles' tendon injury was slow to heal, and he was also nagged by questions about his surgically repaired eye, which was originally damaged by Manny Pacquiao and subjected to a harsh review before the New York Athletic Commission cleared him in December.
Margarito lost that fight when the referee stopped the bout before the 10th round because of swelling around the eye.
It was clear that the eye would have to be reexamined, especially if he aimed to fight at a higher weight against someone such as world middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
A former world welterweight champion, Margarito lost the belt to Paul Williams in 2007 at Home Depot Center, then rallied to upset the previously unbeaten Miguel Cotto by an 11th-round technical knockout in 2008.
Cotto questioned Margarito's performance in that bout after the California State Athletic Commission confiscated plaster inserts from inside Margarito's hand wraps just before his next fight -- a knockout loss to Shane Mosley at Staples Center in January 2009.
California suspended Margarito and his trainer Javier Capetillo, but Texas gave the "Tijuana Tornado" a license to fight Pacquiao at Cowboys Stadium in November 2010.
"I was grateful we were able to do what we could for him," Margarito promoter Bob Arum said Thursday. "We came through for him and made him financially secure by getting him the Pacquiao fight and the Cotto fight."
Arum said he still believes "if anyone was to blame" for the plaster scandal, "it's Capetillo. Antonio had no opportunity to test out those wraps. I just was never going to throw him under the bus on that."
The California commission ruled Margarito was captain of his team and responsible for any such irregularities.
Arum also paid for Margarito's eye surgery after the Pacquiao beating in Texas.
"We spent millions of dollars on his behalf," Arum said. "We just dwell on what's right and we'll never stop spending to justify our position."
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