Approaching his 38th birthday, former great Antonio Margarito will take to the ring following an absence of over four years despite fears of permanent damage to his eyesight.
The Mexican is set to fight on home soil for the first time in six years when the three-time world welterweight champion opposes ex-interim super welterweight title challenge Jorge Paez Jr. at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico.
Margarito initially spent sixteen months out of action on the back of defeat to ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley in 2009 after suffering eye problems during his career. The veteran returned to defeat Roberto Garcia in May 2010, but would then take a painful beating at the hands of Manny Pacquiao six months later.
As fears grew that Margarito could suffer long-lasting damage to his eye, the fighter himself decided to take massive pay-day to rematch Miguel Cotto in December 2012 and was soundly beaten in nine rounds by his Puerto Rican rival.
Wisely, Margarito then announced his retirement from the sport, only to spend three years away and begin to feel the itch to lace up the gloves once more. Several tests later, and Margarito has been passed fit to box, so will now aim to make another push for a big encounter against one of the top names in 2016.
Standing in his way is Paez, 28, who has been busy in light of his relatively tender years, having won 39 of 48 contests with 23 knockouts. ‘El Raton’ has lost to the likes of Vivian Harris and Jose Benavidez, but more recently was defeated by Carlos Ocampo over ten rounds and theoretically shouldn’t be a threat to Margarito.