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Failed Physicals Leave Casal, Arroyo Cold

BY Aaron Lowinger ON February 27, 2014
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There’ll be no walking under ladders or opening of umbrellas inside Casal’s Boxing Club for the foreseeable future, as the bad luck for Nick Casal’s ring return continues. He last fought in October 2011, and was scheduled for a big stage fight in June 2012 against the Siberian slugger Ruslan Provodnikov in his hometown of Niagara Falls, NY, but was forced to cancel after being beaten ruthlessly with a crowbar by his then girlfriend’s ex.

In the meantime, he’s worked hard to stay in shape and gain medical clearance to restart his once-promising career. He’ll have to wait at least a few more months.

The Buffalo News is reporting that Casal’s opponent, Connecticut’s Shakha Moore failed his physical due to receiving LASIK vision correction surgery last year. Similarly, the Amherst, NY boxer Vincent Arroyo, who was also looking to restart his own once-promising career that got side-tracked by a protracted legal battle with his former promoter, faced the same grim news this week. His recently-announced opponent from Memphis, Marlon Lewis, also failed the physical, reportedly for concerns with a recent MRI.

In both cases, fight promoter Mercedes Vazquez-Simmons said the fighters were cleared to fight in their home states, the Buffalo News reported. Lewis last fought in November in Delaware and suffered a first round knock-out, while for Moore, it’s been almost a year since his last fight in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Hanging over the failed physicals is the tragic specter of Dagestani boxer Magomed Abdusalamov, who lapsed into a coma shortly after losing a ten round decision at Madison Square Garden on November 2. That Abdusalamov survived both the brain injury and stroke was a miracle, but doctors are still unsure whether Mago will ever talk or walk again. Abdusalamov’s wife last month filed a $100 million dollar lawsuit against the State of New York and it’s Boxing and Athletic Commissions for negligence and medical malpractice. It appears that it’s getting a little tougher to obtain a boxing license in New York.

But in Niagara Falls, the show must go in. In a gentlemanly show of respect, Vincent Arroyo allowed Casal to fight Lewis after Moore’s physical failed on Tuesday, but the news on Lewis broke a few hours before weigh-in on Wednesday leaving both fighters without a dancing partner.

Moving up to the main event position is a respectable, albeit six round, cruiserweight dust-up between Buffalo’s Greg Brady (4-1, 4 KOs) and Brooklyn’s Joel Shojgreen (8-0, 7 KOs) plus a few intriguing prospects including junior welterweights Emanuel Colon (3-0, 3 KOs) and Andre Byrd (2-0) and the heavyweight Milos Pantelic (6-0-1, 5 KOs).

Vazquez-Simmons is already attempting to press reset and give both Casal and Arroyo a show in the Falls as soon as May, while giving those who bought tickets for tonight’s fights a break on the next event.

Of course, Arroyo and Casal could fight each other as they’re only seven pounds apart, but neither feel it’s a smart decision considering this juncture of their careers and the money on the line for tonight’s fights.

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