Antonio Margarito planning to end retirement

Antonio Margarito, 37, hasn't fought since being stopped by Miguel Cotto in their Dec. 2011 rematch. Al Bello/Getty Images

When last seen in a boxing ring, Antonio Margarito's surgically repaired right eye was being turned into hamburger by Miguel Cotto.

That was in December 2011, when Cotto, in front of his roaring crowd at New York's Madison Square Garden, stopped Margarito to retain a junior middleweight world title three seconds into the 10th round of their animosity-filled rematch.

The health of Margarito's eye, badly damaged in his previous bout 13 months earlier against Manny Pacquiao, was a huge storyline going into the Cotto rematch. Cotto targeted the eye, smashed it up and forced the stoppage.

After the fight, Margarito, seen as a disgrace to most boxing fans and media for his attempt to fight Shane Mosley with loaded hand wraps, retired. Good riddance, most said.

Well, Margarito (38-8, 27 KOs), now 37, is planning a comeback.

The former welterweight titlist has not fought in four years and has lost three of his past four fights dating back to the beatdown he took in a ninth-round knockout loss to Mosley in January 2009. A lengthy suspension followed that fight. When Margarito returned, he outpointed Roberto Garcia (no relation to Margarito trainer Robert Garcia) and was then destroyed by Pacquiao and Cotto.

But a costly divorce and the itch to compete have him plotting a ring return. Robert Garcia told ESPN.com recently that Margarito has come to the gym to train and was in pretty good shape.

Margarito has also gotten medical clearance for his eye, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com. Arum said he sent Margarito to the eye specialist who performed his retina surgery to be examined.

"Tony says he's returning. He says he is," said Arum, who said Top Rank is willing to promote him if they can work out a deal. "He has crazy notions of the money he's worth. We know we can't put him in with a killer right away. He has to get the rust out. But his eye is OK. I made sure he got a clean bill of health."

Arum said his idea would be to put Margarito on a UniMas-televised card or two to shake off the layoff before matching him tough.

"But what he wants for a UniMas show is a crazy amount of money, so who knows if he will fight," Arum said. "I saw him in a meeting, not in the gym, but he looked sensational. We're happy to give him a couple of fights for reasonable money to get him started before a bigger fight. But he has to decide what he wants to do and how much he is willing to fight for."