Former world titleholder Marcos Maidana ending lengthy retirement

Former junior welterweight and welterweight world titleholder Marcos Maidana, who was one of boxing's most destructive punchers and entertaining fighters in his heyday, said he plans to end a 4½-year retirement.

Maidana made the announcement on Friday night in a brief video made while he was sitting in a bubble bath that was sent to various Spanish-language media outlets.

"'El Chino' returns to the ring. Today we just signed a contract for a very good amount (of money). Very tempting and that brought us here," Maidana said.

There is no set date for his return, but Maidana plans to fight again at welterweight, and has signed with Premier Boxing Champions, which previously represented him.

A PBC official told ESPN that Maidana reached out to PBC because he wanted to fight again after seeing the recent wins by Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman, after which he said to himself, "I can beat those these guys."

The plan is for Maidana to work himself into shape and return for a tune-up fight in mid or late summer and then have a major fight later in the fall. The PBC roster is loaded with top welterweights, including world titleholders Pacquiao, Thurman, Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter as well as former titlist Danny Garcia.

Maidana (35-5, 31 KOs), 35, of Argentina, has not fought since losing back-to-back decisions in welterweight world title bouts to Floyd Mayweather in May and September of 2014. But Maidana pushed Mayweather as hard as anyone ever had, especially in the first fight, despite the defeats.

Maidana made at least $5 million between the two fights with Mayweather and then retired to the easy life in Argentina.

He had been trained by renowned trainer Robert Garcia in his Southern California gym, but Garcia told ESPN on Saturday night that he was unaware of Maidana's plans to fight again.

"No idea," Garcia said. "Haven't heard from him."

In addition to the memorable fights with Mayweather, Maidana faced several name opponents between 2009 and 2014. He defeated Adrien Broner, Josesito Lopez, Erik Morales and Victor Ortiz and lost close decisions to Devon Alexander and Amir Khan.