by David P. Greisman
Nick Casal had hoped to return to the ring tonight, coming back after more than two years away — and more than a year and a half since he had been attacked and then hospitalized with hundreds of stitches and numerous staples.
Alas, his comeback has been postponed, according to The Buffalo (N.Y.) News. Shakha Moore, Casal’s scheduled opponent at a card in Niagara Falls did not pass a pre-fight physical “because he had Lasik eye surgery more than a year ago,” the newspaper reported.
A replacement opponent who had been scheduled for another fight on the card “also was denied a license because of an issue with his MRI,” the article said.
And so Casal, 28, is off the show.
The man who put Casal in the hospital, Michael P. Vicki, pleaded guilty in January 2013 to one count of attempted first-degree assault, according to The Tonawanda (N.Y.) News. Vicki was sentenced last April to five years in prison.
In written testimony provided to the court in 2012, Vicki “said the two men engaged in an altercation about 5:30 a.m. … after Casal paid a visit to his Portland Street home,” the Niagara Gazette reported at the time.
“Vicki contended that it was Casal who was the aggressor and he had no choice but to defend himself. According to his testimony, Vicki called the police following the incident and voluntarily sought medical treatment at a local hospital for his own injuries,” the Gazette article said.
Casal’s father said that his son was attacked after going to meet his ex-girlfriend at the home of the woman’s ex-boyfriend, according to the Associated Press. Casal’s father said his son was attacked while walking away with her, struck numerous times with what some reports have speculated was a golf club, others a crowbar.
Prior to the attack, Casal was to have fought Ruslan Provodnikov in June 2012.
Instead, his last appearance was in October 2011, a third-round technical knockout win on the non-televised undercard of the first fight between Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson. That victory brought his record to 22-4-1 with 17 knockouts and 1 no contest.
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]