NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03: Antonio Margarito of Mexico right eye appears swollen shut while sitting in his corner in between rounds against Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico during the WBA World Junior Middleweight Title fight at Madison Square Garden on December 3, 2011 in New York City. (Photo : Al Bello/Getty Images)
Former two-division champion Antonio Margarito will officially be coming back in March, his first fight after nearly four years.
Margarito will be facing Jorge Paez Jr. in Mexico City set for 10 rounds with a catch weight of 154 pounds. Word of the fight was announced by his promoter Zanfer recently via multiple sports sites.
It was in 2013 when word of a possible return by Margarito cropped up via Boxing Insider. In that report, it was mentioned that “El Tornado de Tijuana” was beset by financial issues.
Divorcing his previous wife reportedly cost him a bit as Margarito needed to come up with something to get himself back on the ground. He also has a child with his new partner.
Margarito was last seen in the ring in 2011 when he fought Puerto Rican boxer Miguel Cotto. That fight did not escape controversy, with Margarito’s health in scrutiny.
Margarito was apparently coming off a surgically repaired right eye that got damaged when he fought Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao on November of 2010.
Prior to the Cotto fight, Margarito underwent surgery to repair a torn retina and remove a cataract. He had trouble securing a license to fight Cotto but eventually got one. Unfortunately, that fight made matters worse, thus leading to his retirement in December 2011.
In June 2015, however, Margarito announced that his eye was 100% healed, which eventual spurred ring return rumors. Now he is officially set to return.
However, many are concerned on whether Margarito still has enough left to come up with an impressive showing against Paez. He is already 37 years old, though many feel that his upcoming fight would be a good gauge on just how far Margarito can go with his return to the boxing ring.
Prior to his injury, Margarito was known as an aggressive and volume-punching fighter. To his credit, Margarito holds victories over Cotto (first match in 2008) and Joshua Clottey. His last victory was over Roberto Garcia via unanimous decision in 2010, which earned him the WBC International light-middleweight title.
That win over Garcia was the last time Margarito tasted success, falling to Pacquiao and then losing to Cotto in their second duel.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says that if Margarito comes up with an impressive showing, he would work to help him get back a boxing license in the U.S.
"Let's see how he does with Paez first before we make a big effort to get him licensed in the United States," says Arum via ESPN. "Paez is a good test for a guy who's been out of action as long as Margarito has been."