Former welterweight boxing champion Antonio Margarito has officially announced his retirement after an 18-year career.

The 34-year-old, nicknamed the "Tornado de Tijuana," was expected to walk away from the sport following a TKO loss to Miguel Cotto in December, in which his previously injured right eye was badly hurt again.

"After much thought and extended conversations with my family and team, we have all agreed that the time to hang up my gloves and begin a new chapter in life has arrived," the California native wrote on his Facebook page.

Margarito's eye was badly injured in a Nov. 2010 loss to Manny Pacquiao, and New York officials almost refused to grant him a license for his rematch with Cotto at Madison Square Garden. The fight was stopped after 10 rounds with Margarito's eye swollen shut and Cotto far ahead on the scorecards.

His most memorable win was over Cotto in their first matchup in July 2008, though the victory was later called into question with a scandal surrounding his use of an illegal substance in his gloves.

Prior to his next fight against Shane Mosley, Margarito was found to have illegally placed a plaster-like substance in his gloves, then was knocked out in the ninth round. Cotto always maintained that Margarito used the "loaded" gloves to beat him.

Margarito's boxing license was subsequently revoked and he did not fight again for 16 months. He ends his career with a record of 38-8, with 27 knockout victories.

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