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Margarito not retiring, says he’s going to take a year off from boxing

Antonio MargaritoBy Chris Williams: Former IBF/WBO welterweight champion Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KO’s) won’t be retiring due to eye problems he sustained in his last fight against Manny Pacquiao last November. In an interview at ESPN Desportes Radio, the 33-year-old Margarito said that he plans on continuing his boxing career but will be taking a year off to recover from the damage that he suffered in his mostly one-sided catchweight fight beating at the hands of Pacquiao.

Margarito suffered eye damage in that fight and required surgery to fix a cracked right orbital bone. Margarito says that he didn’t suffer a detached retina, something that has been reported about him recently. This is partially good news, because a detached retina would further complicate Margarito’s comeback plans. However, he still has a lot of problems even with his retina’s working fine.

It’s unclear who Margarito will be looking to fight when he does come back next year – if he does – as he looked so awful in the Pacquiao fight. It’s hard to imagine boxing fans would want to see Margarito fight after that poor performance. It wasn’t just that fight where Margarito looked bad. He’s looked horrible in his last three fights dating back to his loss to Shane Mosley in 2009. Margarito lost that fight by a 9th round TKO loss.

Margarito came back and beat fringe contender Roberto Garcia by an unimpressive 10 round decision last year in May. And then finally Margarito looked weak and slow in the Pacquiao fight, and ended up taking a real pounding. Margarito was hoping to fight Miguel Cotto in a rematch that was scheduled for September. But with Margarito’s slowly healing eye still giving him problems, he had to cancel that fight.

It would be crazy for Margarito to try and get a fight with Cotto without a tune-up next year, but as bad as Margarito looked in the Pacquiao fight, and with his eye possibly still a concern for him next year, I can see him bypassing a tune-up and going straight into a money fight against Cotto. Margarito would likely not stand much of a chance against Cotto now. Margarito’s once big power seems to have completely abandoned him in his last three fights, and without his old power working it’s magic, Cotto will make easy work of Margarito.

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