Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Boxing [Print without images]

Monday, February 3, 2014
Updated: February 6, 2:23 PM ET
Ricardo Mayorga to fight Raul Munoz

By Dan Rafael
ESPN.com

Former two-division titleholder Ricardo Mayorga, one of boxing's greatest all-time trash talkers -- not to mention reckless brawlers -- will attempt to make a comeback on Feb. 21, his first fight in nearly three years.

Promoter Jimmy Burchfield announced on Monday that Mayorga (29-8-1, 23 KOs) would participate in a scheduled eight-round super middleweight fight against Raul Munoz (22-16-1, 16 KOs) in the main event of a card at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I.

Mayorga, the former unified welterweight world champion and also a former junior middleweight titleholder, has not boxed since suffering a 12th-round knockout loss to Miguel Cotto in a junior middleweight title fight in March 2011.

Since then, Mayorga has dabbled in MMA but not had any success.

In boxing, Mayorga fought sporadically from 2005 through the Cotto fight, but found a niche as a villainous B-side in some major fights as a chain-smoking, beer-drinking, trash-talker who always kept things interesting.

He would defeat a lesser opponent, then talk his way into a bigger fight and, ultimately, get knocked out by a big star -- as he did against Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad and Shane Mosley. Mayorga did manage to win a majority decision against the faded former junior middleweight titleholder Fernando Vargas when they met in a 2007 super middleweight bout.

But since back-to-back upsets of the late Vernon Forrest in welterweight world title bouts in 2003, Mayorga, 40, of Nicaragua, is just 4-5.

Munoz, 37, of Topeka, Kan., has lost three fights in a row and five of his last seven.

The announcement of Mayorga's return came just a week after promoter Don King, who represented Mayorga for most his career, issued a press release claiming that he was still Mayorga's promoter and "looking forward to meeting with Mayorga in the next few weeks to plan out the return."

King added that he was in talks with promoter Vlad Hrunov to stage Mayorga's comeback fight in Russia against Dmitry Chudinov.

However, Ivaylo Gotzev, Mayorga's adviser, disputed King's claim.

"Mayorga is coming back against Munoz," Gotzev told ESPN.com on Monday. "King's gotta relax. I'm going to meet with King but I am Mayorga's representative. His contract with King expired a while ago. No offers for fights were made by King, no fights came through. Mayorga never retired and the contract ran its course. It's pretty simple.

"But King knows that if he wants to talk to me about Mayorga, he can talk to me. If King has a reasonable proposition for a fight, we'll look at the offer. But Mayorga is going to fight on this card [on Feb. 21]."

Gotzev said he was able to place Mayorga on the Feb. 21 card because he has a relationship with Burchfield as they both work with former heavyweight world title challenger Mariusz Wach.

Poland's Wach (27-1, 15 KOs) has not fought since a one-sided decision loss to heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in November 2012. A subsequent positive drug test for a banned substance left him suspended, but Gotzev said now that the suspension is up he is negotiating with Burchfield for Wach's return, which could come on the same Feb. 21 show Mayorga is scheduled to appear on.