• Welterweight

Margarito calls time on 18-year career

ESPN staff
June 8, 2012

Antonio Margarito, the former world welterweight who was famously suspended after plaster was found in his gloves, has called time on his boxing career.

Margarito becomes the third top-ranked fighter to retire this week, following Shane Mosley and Winky Wright in hanging up his gloves.

"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," the 34-year-old said.

"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."

Margarito held the WBO welterweight world title for five years and also lifted the IBF and WBA belts during his 18-year career, ending Miguel Cotto's undefeated record in 2009 with an 11th-round stoppage to claim the WBA crown.

But before the Mexican's next fight, against Mosley, plaster was discovered in his hand wraps and after a re-wrapping Margarito was stopped in the ninth round.

A 16-month ban followed, and after a comeback victory over compatriot Roberto Garcia came two final defeats, a unanimous points loss at the hands of Manny Pacquiao in 2010 and a stoppage in 10 against Cotto last December after 10 rounds due to swelling around the Mexican's eye.

"I leave the cuts, bruises, and sweat, but I'm not leaving the sport," Margarito said. "I will continue in the sport that gave me so much, Now, however, it is time for me to give back to the sport."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.