by David P. Greisman
Welterweight Nick Casal is hoping to return to the ring soon for the first time since October 2011 and for the first time since a May 2012 incident that left him hospitalized with hundreds of stitches and numerous staples.
Casal, 26, told The Buffalo News that he has been training for three weeks and will have a fight in January.
January is also when his alleged attacker will go on trial. Michael P. Vicki, 31, pleaded not guilty in June to one count of first-degree assault, according to the article.
In written testimony provided to the court earlier this year, Vicki said the two men engaged in an altercation about 5:30 a.m. on May 12 after Casal paid a visit to his Portland Street home, the Niagara (N.Y.) 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.
Casals father said that his son was attacked after going to meet his ex-girlfriend at the home of the womans ex-boyfriend, according to the Associated Press. Casals 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.
Casal was to have fought Ruslan Provodnikov this past June not in May on the night after the alleged attack, contrary to what The Buffalo News report said.
His last appearance was 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.
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org