Antonio Margarito, who will make his return to the ring on March 5 in Mexico City, says he's coming back to get back into the upper echelon of boxing, and not just to make a few bucks or become an opponent. To that end, he's already talking about a possible third fight with Miguel Cotto, or a matchup with Canelo Alvarez.
"I know Cotto has said no, but I'll go on insisting, and I would like to fight against Canelo. I thought he'd knock out Cotto and he couldn't, so I think he doesn't have the power. If it's not against them, I'm ready for the other champions because I know I have the hunger and the strength to become the world champion again."
Margarito, who turns 38 on March 18, hasn't fought since his December 2011 loss to Cotto in their rematch, a fight that arguably shouldn't have taken place to begin with, due to Margarito's surgically repaired right eye, which came from injuries suffered in a November 2010 loss to Manny Pacquiao.
In fact, it's questionable that Margarito (38-8, 27 KO) would be sanctioned again by a larger American commission. New York made a show out of possibly not licensing him for the Cotto rematch before ultimately letting the bout go ahead, and if nothing else, Texas has been known to license fighters who have been turned down elsewhere for various reasons. It was Texas who licensed Margarito to fight Pacquiao after Margarito was suspended by California in 2009, following a glove tampering controversy before his loss to Shane Mosley, and then refused to relicense him in 2010.
Margarito says that his body is responding well to the return to serious training, and that his eye has not been an issue, but we'll see how it plays out in the ring. His opponent, Jorge Paez Jr (39-7-2, 23 KO), is not a top fighter, but isn't hopeless, either. He will be small compared to Margarito, but then so is Miguel Cotto. Paez is a pretty decent choice to see if Margarito has anything left, particularly for a first fight in over four years.
If Margarito does get through that fight without incident, do you see him getting back into the mix?