By Mitch Abramson
Pedro Sosa, the amateur standout from the Bronx, who nearly fell to death on the Cross Bronx Expressway on Oct. 30, and who’s story made local headlines, is showing marked improvement, slowly moving his fingers, legs and neck and showing signs that he can understand when people speak to him, according to his trainer, Marcos Suarez, and his friend and fellow boxer, Christina Cruz, a U.S. Olympic hopeful.
Sosa, currently at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, was scheduled to have surgery on his spine on Friday afternoon, Suarez said. Before the accident, Sosa was close to signing with boxing manager Shelly Finkel and had strong promotional interest from both Golden Boy and Lou DiBella, paving the way for his pro debut.
“He’s doing better. The doctor said [the surgery] was going to be no problem,” said Suarez, who visited Sosa on Thursday. “He’s still with his eyes closed. He can’t open his eyes, not yet. The doctor says maybe one more week for that. But the doctor said that he will get better but that it’s going to be a slow recovery.”
Sosa, who narrowly missed out on making the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, losing in the finals of the trials at 141 pounds, was struck by a car after he exited his car on the ice-slicked Cross Bronx Expressway after a multi-vehicle wreck on the roadway. His sister, Jennifer, was with him, and both fell 75 feet off the overpass onto a construction site below. Jennifer, 21, was killed, while Sosa, 20, sustained only internal injuries to his kidneys and lunges, with a few cracked ribs, while avoiding any damage to his brain or legs, according to Suarez, who has kept a constant vigil near his bedside.
“It just shows how strong he is that he wasn’t hurt more,” said Cruz, who planned on visiting Sosa after she trained on Friday. “For him to be able to come out of this after falling like that, he’s such a strong kid.”
It’s been a particularly trying time for Cruz. Along with worrying about Sosa, Cruz also must worry about her standing as one of the top female amateurs in the country.
Currently ranked No. 3 at 112 pounds, Cruz is vying for a spot on the 2012 Olympic female boxing team. The Olympic Trials are in February, but she has much to get done before that important date. Cruz returned to the Bronx a day before Sosa’s injury after competing in the Pan-Am Games, where she reached the quarterfinals, losing a razor-close decision. She leaves next Wednesday for an international duel in Oxnard, CA, against Russia, Germany, Mexico and Poland. Then, the day she gets back from the duels, on Nov. 19, she has a match at Madison Square Garden in a showcase bout at the NYPD vs. FDNY Battle of the Badges competition.
“It’s been hard trying to focus at this time,” she said. “But I know Pedro would want us to continue competing and doing the best we could.”