AFTER 10 years as a professional boxer, Marcos “Chino” Maidana officially announced his retirement on Tuesday in a social media post addressed to his “Boxing Friends.”
“I know many of you think that I still have things to do and battles to fight. And I respect them. That is something that I had in my mind in the last few months. But only those who really know what a real challenge is, like the ones I always had, may understand that you have to be absolutely motivated to approach them. Only through a great physical and mental effort you can mix in the ring with best of the world if winning is your goal. And I always wanted to win. Today I do not feel motivated enough, do not have the fire inside me to intend to climb those mountains again. That is why I announce my retirement,” said Maidana.
The rugged Argentine went 25-0, with 24 KOs, to start his career before getting his first world title shot in the winter of 2009 against Ukrainian Andriy Kotelnik in Rostock, Germany. A disputed split decision loss sent him to Los Angeles in June later that year to scrap against then-heir to the Golden Boy throne Victor Ortiz for the interim version of the same WBA belt held by Kotelnik.
The pair lit the Staples Center on fire in an action-packed fight that registered five knockdowns in 6 rounds and resulted in a TKO victory for “Chino” Maidana and an impromptu retirement announcement from Ortiz.
Three impressive follow-up performance across both American continents drummed up additional interest in his never back down, punch first, defend second (or not at all), style. By December of 2010, a twenty-four year old Amir Khan was ready to prove to the world, and himself, that his KO defeat against Breidis Prescott was a fluke.
In that fight, Khan knocked Maidana down in the first with a vicious left hook to the body that would have taken the fight completely out of most, but Maidana recovered in the second and gave the Bolton native all he could handle over the course of twelve rounds.
After the action packed affair, Khan walked away with the official, and moral, victory but Maidana, arguably, gained just as many fans in the process.
A fight of the year candidate decided by razor-thin margins against Erik Morales and showcase wins in his home country of Argentina against Petr Petrov and Martin Martinez took place in the three years that followed.
The post Khan days also saw from Maidana spectacular knockout victories against the always-tough Jesus Soto-Karass and Josesito Lopez. Those fights, specifically, continued to highlight his propensity for dishing out tremendous amount of pain against the right opponents, while a lop-sided defeat against Devon Alexander further accentuated his vulnerabilities against fast hands and relentless body work.
A coaching change to Robert Garcia culminated in a sensational victory over then-undefeated Adrien Broner in 2013, with Broner hitting the canvas twice and Maidana, once again, winning the crowd over with his resilience and understated swagger, in a performance that will likely be the one by which most boxing fans remember “Chino.”
His last two fights, against all-time great Floyd Mayweather, were near shut-outs, save the first twelve minutes of their first meeting but the former light welterweight and welterweight champion walks away from the sport this week without regrets.
“I must say that I leave very proud and deeply thankful to boxing and everything that I have achieved. I’ve really never imagined getting this far when I put on a pair of gloves for the very first time when I was 15 in my native Margarita city. I think I was able to put the name of my country Argentina very high after winning two world titles, winning and losing against the best fighters of the world.
“I had a tough career and I fulfilled many of my dreams. I am a very happy man with my family and friends by my side these days,” said Maidana on his official Facebook page.
He hangs them up for good but will stay close to sport, supporting Team Maidana in their own pursuit of greatness.
“At this time, I start a new stage in which I will remain close to boxing, advising and unconditionally supporting “Team Maidana”, aiming for new generations to reach the highest levels. I will be there for our world champion Jesús Cuellar. For new great prospects like Brian Castaño, my brother Fabián Maidana, Alan Castaño, who are already making some noise internationally. For Javier Maciel. Also I will be there for the new kids like Neri Romero and Luis Verón. And most likely I will be there for many others who will join us along the road looking for great challenges. My goal is to pass the baton over to them now.”