Antonio DeMarco, a former lightweight titleholder, has decided to call it a career after being completely shut out against Rances Barthelemy this past weekend, announcing his retirement yesterday.
"I want to apologize to all who had confidence in me and to my family. I feel at peace and at the same time disappointed with myself," DeMarco said in a statement. "I thank God and boxing and the people who always supported me for all they gave me during my career. It's tough, but I know God will show me new goals and dreams to conquer."
"God bless you today and always, and all my fights were for you, my family and people that helped me in my beginnings. Thanks to God for allowing me to fulfill my dream. I will miss the ring and all the people, but will always have them in my heart."
This is probably a good move for DeMarco, 29, as he's been through a number of wars and has sustained heavy damage, relying more on his toughness and perseverance than any boxing acumen. Certainly no one can question DeMarco's toughness - anyone who is able to survive abject poverty, living on the streets of Tijuana and fighting their way to the big time obviously has to have some resolve. But there comes a time when one has to recognize the writing on the wall, and in this sport it's better to happen too soon than too late.
DeMarco's coming out party was perhaps in his fight against Jorge Linares, a current lightweight titleholder, in which he was a heavy underdog. After basically getting thrashed for most of the fight, DeMarco was able to bloody up Linares quite badly and finished the fading Linares to earn an 11th round stoppage. That win was a major upset and earned him the then vacant WBC lightweight title. DeMarco would go on to have two successful title defenses after that fight, the second on which was a TKO victory over John Molina Jr. that occurred during the very first minute of the fight.
From there DeMarco would face Adrien Broner in a fight where he just got plain annihilated. It was a really one-sided fight where Broner had his way with DeMarco while badly punishing him over 8 rounds before the stoppage. DeMarco took a 9-month layoff after that fight and moved up in weight for a few rebound fights in. After three wins, he found himself back on the big stage in a fight with Jessie Vargas, but lost a 12 round decision before again losing to Barthelemy this past Saturday.
That was enough for DeMarco to realize his time was up. DeMarco has always a respectable and humble guy as far as I know, and I certainly wish him the best in his future endeavors.