Mexican Boxer Victor Burgos Survives Brain Surgery
CARSON, Calif.—Mexican boxer Victor Burgos was whisked from the ring to a hospital on Saturday where he underwent immediate surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain and to reduce swelling after participating in an International Boxing Federation flyweight championship against Vic Darchinyan at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Article posted on 05.03.2007
Burgos survived the operation at Los Angeles County Harbor-U.C.L.A. Medical Center in nearby Torrance, Calif., but is still in a medically induced coma, a common technique used after head trauma to help reduce harmful brain swelling. His doctors have also reported Sunday that Burgos has already shown certain signs of movement in the intensive care unit that can only be described as positive. Burgos became the IBF junior flyweight champion by defeating Alex Sanchez at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in 2003.
He moved up to the 112-pound flyweight limit in 2005 and was challenging Darchinyan for his title on Saturday in a match televised by SHOWTIME Championship Boxing as part of a world championship doubleheader..
Darchinyan knocked Burgos down in the second round, but Burgos returned to his feet and fought on valiantly until the contest was stopped by the referee in favor of Darchinyan at 1:27 into the twelfth and final round. Ringside physicians had Burgos removed from the ring by stretcher before being transported by ambulance to the hospital.
Physicians also said that Burgos’s rapid arrival was critical, giving them the best opportunity to help the boxer from the head injury he sustained.
Burgos has been joined at the hospital by his wife, Claudia, his manager, Roberto Sandoval, and several family members and friends.
The 32-year-old prizefighter, known as “El Acorazado” in the ring, was born in Puebla, Mexico and now lives in Tijuana, Mexico. He has compiled a professional record of 39-15-3 and is promoted by Don King Productions.
“I urge everyone to join me in prayer for Victor Burgos and his family,” King said. “I know he’s fighting right now to come through this because a brave fighter is what he has always been. Now we need God’s help to see him back to health.”
VICTOR “EL ACORAZADO” BURGOS
Former International Boxing Federation Junior Flyweight Champion
Born on April 10, 1974, Puebla, Mexico, now residing in Tijuana, Mexico
Height: 5’ 3” Weight: Flyweight (112)
Record: 39-15-3, 23 KOs
Victor Burgos is a testament to the Mexican never-say-die attitude found in almost all of that country’s fighters. He lost his father at age 8 after one of his uncles ran over him in a car after a family dispute. His mother died when he was 10. He was raised by his older brothers in his hometown of Puebla, Mexico, but moved by himself to Tijuana at age 11.
He lived a tough life on the streets. At age 17, he decided to turn a new leaf and took up boxing. His boxing career, like his life, has been filled by ups and downs. His perseverance in his life and in the ring has paid off.
He made his first world title appearance against reigning World Boxing Organization 105-pound champion Alex “Nene” Sanchez in Las Vegas on March 29, 1997, with Burgos as the mandatory challenger. Despite holding his own against the once-beaten champion (24-1 at the time), Burgos dropped a unanimous 12-round decision by the scores 115-110, 113-112 and 114-111.
He fought Sanchez to a draw in an IBF junior flyweight eliminator in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on May 11, 2002. Their immediate rematch in Las Vegas on Feb. 15, 2002, was for the vacant IBF flyweight title, and Burgos stepped into the ring with a 34-13-2 record hoping their third meeting would be the charm.
Even though he appeared to be on the way to winning a unanimous decision, Burgos disposed of Sanchez in the twelfth and final round with a technical knockout rather than let it go to the scorecards. A lesser man who faced the challenges Burgos faced would have quit the sport well before a world championship would have seemed like a possibility.
He began his professional career by dropping his first four contests in a five-month stretch. Despite these early setbacks, Burgos continued to work hard. That dedication and perseverance paid off in late 1993. Returning home to Mexico, he captured his first pro victory on Sept. 6, when he upended the crafty Tomas Cordova in Tijuana, Mexico. The following month, Burgos continued his winning ways by stopping Enrique Vega in the fourth round on Oct. 22.
Finding the fruits of victory more to his liking than the disappointment of defeat, Burgos returned to the ring on Nov. 26, 1993, and found himself in the winner’s circle after a decision win over the other Ricardo Lopez.
Fighting mainly in Mexico during his first two pro years, Burgos compiled an 8-7 record in his first 15 fights before turning things around.
On Dec. 4, 1994, Burgos opened a 15-fight unbeaten streak (14-0-1, 7 KOs) by registering a four-round decision over Leonardo Gutierrez in San Felipe, Mexico. During the two-year period (December 1994-96), Burgos captured the Mexican and Sinaloa State 108-lb. titles.
In his first title appearance, Burgos fought to a 12-round draw against Jose Herrera on June 23, 1995, in Mexicali, Mexico, for the Sinaloa State 112-lb. crown.
Following a non-title victory over Ruben Arteaga, Burgos dropped down one weight class when he took on Jorge Roman for the Sinaloa State 108-lb. crown on Sept. 18, 1995. Utilizing his quickness and renewed vigor for the sport, Burgos pounded out a hearty 12-round decision to capture his first championship.
One month later, Burgos challenged Edgar Cardenas for the Mexican 108-lb. crown in Tijuana, Mexico, on Oct. 24, 1995. Burgos befuddled his opponent and added a second belt to his resume by scoring a 12-round decision.
Burgos opened the 1996 campaign by defending his Mexican title twice with an 11-round technical win over Jose Zepeda on Feb. 12, and by scoring a seventh-round TKO in a rubber-match with Cordova on April 30.
After closing out 1996 with two non-title victories, Burgos ascended to the No. 1 slot in the World Boxing Organization mini flyweight rankings and earned that first world title shot against Sanchez.
Undeterred by the setback, Burgos moved back up to 108 pounds in his next contest and tallied a 12-round decision over Jorge Arce to win the World Boxing Association North American (WBA/NA) crown on Dec. 12, 1997.
Following the victory, Burgos dropped four out of his next five 1998 contests. Included among the losses were three title match-ups (two International Boxing Association and one International Boxing Council). The only victory that year came when Burgos stopped Jaime Lopez in the second round on Sept. 12.
Displaying the heart of a champion, Burgos rebounded to go 11-1-1, with eight knockouts, in his next 13 bouts.
In his only 1999 appearance, the hard-hitting Mexican returned to Tijuana on Feb. 8 and scored a third-round TKO over Ruben Arteaga. The fight represented the first of 12 consecutive contests in the city.
Burgos opened the 2000 campaign on Feb. 4 by winning his fourth pro crown (the North American Boxing Organization 108-pound title) with a fourth-round TKO over Juan Moreno. The champion then successfully defended his title twice before losing his belt to Roberto Leyva to close out his eighth pro season on Dec. 5.
For the second consecutive time, Burgos opened the year by winning a pro title when he registered a 12-round decision over Victor Hernandez on May 4, 2001, to win the WBO Latin America 108-pound crown.
After winning his first world title, Burgos attempted to unify the 108-pound titles by facing World Boxing Association champion Rosendo “El Buffalo” Alvarez in Atlantic City, N.J., on Dec. 13, 2003, on Don King’s historic card featuring eight world title fights on Dec. 13, 2003.
It was a toe-to-toe battle from beginning to end with the quicker Burgos often beating Alvarez to the punch. Alvarez became so frustrated he resorted to rough tactics like leading with his head and low blows, in an attempt to frustrate Burgos.
While many at ringside thought Burgos had done enough to win the fight ended in a draw. One judge, from New Jersey, had Burgos winning by a 116 to 113 margin, while the second judge, from Belgium saw Alvarez winning 116-112. The third judge, also from New Jersey, had it at an even 114 to 114.
Burgos then defended his title against former world champion Fahlan Sakkreerin in Las Vegas on May 15, 2004. Sakkreerin fought defensively to avoid Burgos’ pin-point punches with some success in the early rounds. In round six, Burgos scored a technical knockout.
Burgos’s then took on a fighter who had previously held the IBF title at the 108-pound limit, Will “Steel” Grigsby. The match took place in Las Vegas on May 14, 2005. It was a grueling contest of wills, but the 35-year-old Grigsby turned back the clock and won a unanimous 12-round decision over the hard-working Burgos by scores of 112-116, 111-117 and 110-118.
Burgos made the decision to move up to the 112-pound-limit full-flyweight division and picked up two victories. On Sept. 19, 2005, he scored a 10th-round knockout over Javier Murilla in Tijuana. On May 6, 2006, he won a unanimous decision over Luis Doria in Worcester, Mass., before losing by twelfth-round technical knockout to IBF flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan on March 3 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
While not boxing, Burgos works as a messenger for Tijuana City Hall and enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters.
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