Kevin Lerena is expected back in the ring only in February after major injury on his right shoulder last week.
What was expected to be a routine operation following an arthroscopy worsened when a body camera revealed tears in Lerena’s labrum and rotator cuff, requiring major surgery.
“I was fighting pain for a long time,” said Lerena on Friday.
His recovery will require six weeks in a sling, followed by a further six weeks of physiotherapy. He says that at a push he could probably fight by the end of December, but a more likely scenario is February.
Promoter Rodney Berman was rocked by the news and only realised the seriousness after talking to Lerena’s surgeon.
“None of us was fully aware of the pain he has been fighting under,” said Berman. “It puts his excellent recent performances into perspective. How would he have done if 100 percent fit? He can recover now and we can look forward to an excellent new year when hopefully he won’t be restricted at all.”
Lerena packed in three tough title fights in the past nine months, so is probably due a rest anyway. Given how he loves to train and box, he ought to be busting at the leash come February; not altogether a bad thing for a fighter on the up.
IN OTHER NEWS: Undefeated Las Vegas native, 21-year old Damien "Sugar" Vazquez (14-0, 7 KOs), wants to get in the ring with Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KOs), when he makes his return to the ring, rumored to be on the undercard of Canelo vs. GGGon September 15, 2018.
Vazquez is the younger brother of former three-time super bantamweight world champion, Israel Vázquez. He's been making noise in the lower weight classes since he captured the NABF Junior Flyweight Title as a teenager, at age 17. Before turning pro, Vazquez compiled an impressive record of (83-3, 46 KOs), unheard of in the amateurs. Vazquez is currently rated WBA #14, putting him in position to land a big fight, possibly a dream bout with Roman Gonzalez.
"If Chocolatito is seeking an opponent for September 15th, then who better than me," said Damien Vazquez, who on March 28, 2018, captured the vacant WBC Youth Silver Super-Flyweight Title against Luis Golindano (10-1, 7 KOs). "I think it makes a lot of sense to make this fight because the fight is in Las Vegas, my hometown, and I'm Mexican. This would make for a classic showdown on Mexican Independence Day in Las Vegas, Mexico vs. Nicaragua, let's make it happen. It's time for the new blood to take over."