Updated 05:20 PM EST, Mon, Mar 01, 2021

Antonio Margarito Seeking to Return to the Upper Echelon of Boxing, Wants Match with Miguel Cotto or Canelo Alvarez

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Some boxers step into the ring for glory and some for redemption. Antonio Margarito, meanwhile, is fighting to stay relevant.

The 37-year old Mexican recently told ESPN that he wishes to return to the upper echelon of boxing. He believes a fight with Miguel Cotto or current WBC middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez will do the trick.

"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," Margarito explained. "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."

Before Margarito can continue pursuing big-name fighters, he must first face Jorge Paez Jr. in a junior middleweight bout at Mexico City Arena. After a long sabbatical from boxing, he said his body has responded well to the training, but that he still has a lot to prove to people.

"I want to make it clear that I'm a fighter who can give more, and that's what I want -- people wanting to see more from me," he said. "I've been training very hard and I feel very motivated to give them a great fight in the Mexico City Arena and raise my hand at the end as the winner."

The Tijuana Tornado has been away from boxing since December 2011 when he lost to Cotto at the Madison Square Arena in New York. Referee Steve Smoger stopped the fight in the tenth round, due to the swelling of Margarito's right eye, per Box Rec.

Scott Christ of SB Nation reckoned the fight should not have happened in the first place since Margarito's surgically-repaired right eye was still unstable at that time.

The former IBF, WBA and WBO welterweight champion would have likely applied for a boxing license in Texas had New York cancelled the Cotto fight. It was in Texas where Margarito was allowed to fight Manny Pacquiao in 2010 after he got banned in California for using a plaster-like substance under his hand wraps against Shane Mosley.

Digital Journal reported that after four years of diligent eye therapy, Margarito has been cleared by his doctors to continue his boxing career. The Torrance native believes a win against Paez Jr. would catapult him to bigger world title fights.

According to Box Rec, Paez Jr owns a record of 39 wins, 7 losses and two draws. El Maromerito had a busy 2015, participating in four boxing matches. He won against Daniel Echeverria and Ronald Montes but lost to Carlos Ocampo and Jose Benavidez.

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