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Arizala stable, awaits bone replant

By Joaquin Henson
Sat, 06 Apr 2019

Renerio Arizala (left) and Hall of Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach.

It appears that the worst is over for stricken Masbate featherweight boxer Renerio Arizala with GAB chairman Abraham Mitra announcing yesterday ?his situation has improved (as) even his left hand is already moving.?

Arizala, 24, underwent brain surgery at the Yokohama City Minato Red Cross Hospital about two hours from losing to Japan?s Tsuyoshi Tameda by a sixth round stoppage at the Osanbashi Hall last Sunday. He collapsed after stepping out of the ring and was rushed to the hospital where doctors performed an emergency operation. A CT-Scan of Arizala?s brain showed a blood clot that doctors drained from a hole they bore through the skull. A piece of his skull was removed to insert the tube for the draining process but the bone will be put back when the swelling of the brain subsides. The craniotomy was done to remove the subdural hematoma and decompress the brain.

Another Filipino boxer Z Gorres suffered a similar fate in 2009. He was ahead on points when Colombia?s Luis Melendez landed a brutal punch to the temple in the last few seconds of their bout in Las Vegas. Gorres survived the distance but collapsed right after he was declared winner by unanimous decision. Doctors drained the blood clot from his brain through a hole in the skull and it took two months before they sealed it.

Mitra has given personal attention to the case, instructing GAB boxing chief June Bautista and GAB medical section chief Dr. Radentor Viernes to monitor Arizala?s condition closely. Bautista is in contact with Tsuyoshi Yasukochi of the Japan Boxing Commission while Dr. Viernes is communicating with attending surgeon Dr. Kagemichi Nagao. Mitra said Japanese matchmaker Takashi Aoshima has been sending regular updates on Arizala?s condition. Aoshima is Filipino matchmaker Art Monis? partner and they arranged Arizala?s fight.

?Arizala is recuperating fast and we are informed that his left arm is already moving,? said Mitra. ?Let?s all continue to pray for his recovery.? Meanwhile, Mitra said a proposal from the Boxing Division has been made to amend the requirements for a six-round fight abroad. The amendment stipulates that non-rated Filipino boxers from 18 to 25 with at least two wins in a six-round bout and with no more than 10 fights may be allowed to fight for six rounds in specific countries, including China, Japan, Mexico and the US, on condition they are equally matched with opponents based on their records, have not been stopped or knocked out in their last fight, have fought in the previous six months and received favorable consideration from GAB.

Arizala?s trainer Jonathan Penalosa, who worked his corner for the fight, reported good news from his Japanese friend Yoshinori Mitsui. ?Stable ang lagay ni Arizala at nakapagsalita na siya ng dahan-dahan,? he said. ?Tinanong kung ilan taon na siya at nag-sign sa kamay ng 24. Tapos sinabihan kumusta ka na at tumango siya. May diperensya ang kaliwang paa niya pero rehab at therapy na lang ang kailangan, sabi ng doctor. Sana tuloy-tuloy na ang recovery niya.?

Penalosa said doctors will assess when to put back the piece of bone on his skull. It?s not likely Arizala will be back when his live-in partner gives birth to their first child this month. Penalosa said doctors will seal the opening in the skull before he is released from the hospital and cleared to go home. Penalosa returned to Manila the day after the fight and plans to go back to Yokohama and attend to Arizala on April 13.

The injury will put an end to Arizala?s boxing career. He turned pro in 2012, was unbeaten in his first 12 bouts but hasn?t won in his last nine outings, losing seven and drawing twice. His record is 13-9-3, with 5 KOs. Arizala came off over a year?s layoff to battle Presco Carcosia to a draw at the Midas Hotel and Casino last February. The loss to Tameda was his fourth by KO. He had previously been stopped by Jake Bornea, Genisis Libranza and Ardin Diale. In 2015, Arizala battled former WBC flyweight champion Toshiyuki Igarashi in Tokyo and lost on points.

The youngest of four children, Arizala will never fight again and his mother Jovencia said she?ll be relieved when he finds another means of livelihood.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.

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