Karlos Balderas lost his most important tool Saturday night.
He didn't lose the fight, however.
Balderas, who fought Robert Frankel Saturday in Minnesota, says he feinted toward his opponent, then landed a solid right hand to the top of Frankel's skull.
Upon impact, Balderas immediately knew his right hand was injured.
Still, Balderas continued on with the fight. He eventually scored a TKO win over Frankel in the seventh round.
Right away I heard a crack and my hand was got real swollen," Balder said. "Just like that in the first round. He ducked his head, I threw a right hand, it landed right on his skull."
Balderas says he went to get X-Rays and will schedule an MRI later to monitor the injury. Doctors told Balderas there was a fractured bone in his right hand.
"I was in pain. I couldn’t even throw my right hand and I knew I wasn’t myself," Balderas told the Times.
Balderas' trip to the northern United States didn't go exactly as planned. When he left Santa Maria in the middle of last week, he was expecting to fight Joshuah Hernandez after he landed in Minneapolis.
But Hernandez pulled out of the fight at the last minute and Frankel was chosen as a late replacement.
Balderas said he learned a lot from the entire ordeal, with his opponent dropping out and having to grind out a win despite a major injury to his dominant hand.
"It's a learning experience. It's unfortunate that it happened, but this will all help me in a 12-round fight later on," Balderas said. "I could have allowed this to get to me and it could've cost me the fight. But I had to adjust to it. There was a lot to deal with in this fight. The opponent, then my fight wasn’t televised. I don't know what happened there.
"All of that wasn’t in my power."
The Balderas-Hernandez bout was scheduled to be a major part of the Premier Boxing Champions broadcast on Fox Sports 1. But after Hernandez pulled out the bout was pulled from the airwaves.
"We’ll just see what happens next," Balederas said. "I should be coming back in September, or late August. I think this fight was good overall, I didn't really take any punishment, aside from the injury."
The win improved Balderas' career record in the ring to 9-0. He now has eight career knockouts. It's the longest bout of his career, going seven rounds. Balderas has now fought 26 professional rounds and scored a knockout in 89 percent of his pro bouts.
Joe Bailey is the sports editor at Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Contact him with tips and story ideas at email@example.com or (805) 739-2239. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jbaileysmsports
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