By Miguel Rivera
Former welterweight world champion Antonio Margarito finally made his return on Saturday night at Arena Mexico. It was his first fight in more than four years.
The tough Mexican puncher, who raised his record to 39-8 with 27KOs, won a ten round unanimous decision over Jorge Paez Jr.
The victory was not easy. At the end of the sixth round, Margarito as badly hurt and went down hard on his back. Paez also did some good work in the contest and won some rounds on the official cards. In the end the scores were 95-94, 96-93 and 97-93.
After going for so long without a fight, Margarito says he had to shake off the rust in the early rounds.
"I've always been a fighter who goes from less to more. I felt at first that I was starting a little slow, but I was catching up. He caught me and I accept that, but in the end we finished well," Margarito said. "[When I went down] I thought of my people, my wife, my children...they raised me up so I could keep going."
"I do not know what's going to happen next. I am contracted with Top Rank, and a big thanks to Zanfer for all of this. I am ready to fight anybody. I took off the rust and now I'm ready, but I do not know if a world championship [fight would be next]."
Margarito had no issues with his damaged right eye, which forced him to retire in the fall of 2011.
For his part, Paez gave credit to Margarito and said his countryman punches very hard.
"I am happy with what I did. I faced an elite opponent. I'm not a junior middleweight, but I tried to give my best in each round, Margarito hits extremely hard my friend. I think I was a worthy opponent for Tony. I think inactivity affected him, but he still hitting very hard. He has a very heavy hand," Paez said.