- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Former two-division world champion Rafael Marquez, who got knocked out on Saturday night and was subsequently sent to a hospital by a California State Athletic Commission doctor, was admitted and might need surgery on a fractured facial bone.
"He suffered a right eye orbital fracture," Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Eric Gomez told ESPN.com. "[He was] kept overnight for precaution."
Gomez said that Marquez's doctor had not yet decided if Marquez would need surgery to repair the injury.
Marquez (41-9, 37 KOs), the former bantamweight and junior featherweight champion from Mexico and a probable Hall of Famer, was attempting a comeback at age 38. Marquez, the younger brother of four-division titleholder Juan Manuel Marquez, had not fought in 11 months and had lost three of his previous five bouts entering Saturday's featherweight fight.
That is when he faced 30-year-old Efrain Esquivias (17-2-1, 10 KOs) of Gardena, Calif., in their co-featured fight at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. It was a competitive bout, but Esquivias -- a huge fan of Marquez's -- dropped the fading former champion hard with a clean right had early in the ninth round of the scheduled 10-round bout.
Marquez beat the count but was unsteady and staggered into a corner, forcing referee Raul Caiz Jr. to wave off the fight 19 seconds into the round.
After the fight, Marquez did an interview on Showtime's telecast, but shortly after returning to the dressing room, Showtime reported that the commission doctor doing a post-fight examination did not like how Marquez looked or how he was responding to commands and sent him to the hospital for precautionary reasons.
Marquez had recently reunited with Hall of Fame trainer Nacho Beristain and signed a four-fight deal with Golden Boy, hoping the fight with Esquivias would be the first on his way to another word title shot.
However, after the knockout loss, Marquez said in his post-fight interview that he would consider retirement.