Boxing: pedro sosa

Pedro Sosa, every bit a fighter

January, 31, 2012
1/31/12
5:37
PM ET
Pedro Sosa was a day or two away from signing a sweet multi-year deal with Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions to turn pro when his world got thrown off off its axis.

Sosa, a 19 year old Bronx resident, was driving with his older sister Jennifer on the Cross Bronx Expressway early Sunday on Oct. 30 of 2011. There was a multi-car pileup and the Sosas, who had exited the car which contained colleagues who worked with Jennifer at a Long Island restaurant, plunged 75 feet, off an overpass, into a construction area under the roadway.

Jennifer was badly hurt, and Pedro was rendered comatose. The kid who just missed making the 2012 Olympic team at 141 pounds, who'd sifted through a bunch of offers to turn pro, was taken to Jacobi Medical center, with his sister. Tragically, Jennifer died at Jacobi, leaving behind her toddler son. Pedro hung on for his life. After three weeks, he awoke from the coma.

"How's Jennifer?" he asked.

Fine, he was told. She just has a broken leg, he was told. He had a damaged lung and liver, and busted ribs, and bleeding on his brain. But he was happy sis was OK.

Doctors told Sosa's family to lie to him, because they feared the truth, that his sister was dead, would set him back. They finally broke the news a bit before Christmas, when it was determined he was strong enough to handle the shocking truth.

"It's hard," Sosa told me, his voice slightly slurred from brain damage, "thinking it's my fault, I was the driver, and that was my sister. But I think everything happens for a reason. It was a miracle I fell 75 feet. God wanted me to stay and to take my sister. It's hard for me, but it is what it is. God is the one who knows what he does."

The fighter, and I use that word intentionally, because Sosa is to be respected for his strength and attitude during this ordeal, said he wants to fight again, though doctors have told him it is unlikely. His brain, he was told, shouldn't take more punishment.

Pedro came home on Dec. 22, and is living with his parents in the Bronx, going to rehab sessions, trying to get back some of what was lost. "I'm feeling good, better every day," he said. "Every day I feel better and better and better."

I'm hoping he proves the docs wrong, and works his way back to the ring. The sport, and hell, the world, need examples like Pedro Sosa.

Note: The Daily News Golden Gloves, the world’s oldest and largest amateur boxing tournament, held a benefit match for Pedro on Tuesday, January 31, at Justice Sotomayor Center in the Bronx. This was his first public appearance since the accident. The Daily News will donate all proceeds from the night’s matches towards Sosa’s recovery and the care of his sister’s son who was left motherless. A special presentation was held during intermission.

Pedro Sosa continues to improve

November, 1, 2011
11/01/11
9:22
PM ET
The family and friends of amateur boxing star Pedro Sosa of the Bronx were pleased with his progress today, as the 19 year-old pugilist, who was hit by a car on the Cross Bronx Expressway on Sunday morning after exiting his vehicle following a pileup, has been responding to doctors who are gauging his recovery.

Sosa, who was due to sign a professional contract with manager Shelly Finkel and promoter Oscar De La Hoya on Monday, is not fully conscious. He had surgery to assess the extent of internal injuries on Monday afternoon, following a 75-foot drop to the ground from an overpass on Sunday, but brain damage and spinal chord damage have been ruled out. He now moves his body, and tries to get out of his bed at Jacobi Medical Center, according to trainer/mentor Marcos Suarez.

"He tries to open his eyes," ESPN New York was told by Suarez, who said doctors are confident the young man will awaken within the next couple days.

Tragically, Sosa's sister Jennifer, who was to turn 21 in December, died after being hit by the car which struck Pedro. She leaves behind a boy, Jefferson, age 1 1/2. Suarez said Jefferson will be taken in by Pedro's mother, Angela.
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pedro sosa

Surgery goes well, Pedro Sosa is 'stable'

November, 1, 2011
11/01/11
10:08
AM ET
Pedro Sosa, the South Bronx amateur boxing star who was struck by a car on the Cross Bronx Expressway on Sunday morning, thrown from an overpass and fell 75 feet to the pavement, is in stable condition after a five-hour surgery at Jacobi Medical Center on Monday afternoon.

Sosa, age 19, was in a coma following the horrific traffic incident which claimed the life of his sister Jennifer, age 20. He is still unconscious, but his trainer, Marcos Suarez, told ESPNNewYork.com on Monday night that the surgery went well, and doctors are hoping the fighter will regain consciousness in the next couple days.

Sosa, a top-ranked amateur at 141 pounds who almost made the 2012 Olympic squad, was due to sign a professional contract on Monday with Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions. Suarez said that he was going to sign a contract in the Manhattan office of noted manager Shelly Finkel, and have his first pro bout in the next two months.

The 43-year-old Suarez said Sosa has broken ribs, and did some damage to his lung and liver. Those injuries aren't deemed severe, he said. Friends and family were all overjoyed to get the results of a CAT scan, which showed no brain damage. Also, his spine was unaffected by the fall and Suarez said it looks like there is no indication that Sosa's ability to move will be hampered.

"The most important thing is his health then God willing he can start little by little maybe in a year or two to train as a boxer," said the trainer, who first began to work with the boxer almost 10 years ago. "He's still young. Pedro Sosa will be a famous champion. He's a special kid. This kid doesn't go out, he's really humble and he never disrespects anybody. He's a different breed, like no other."

Bertha Aracil translated Suarez' Spanish to English.

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Update: Pedro Sosa is out of surgery

October, 31, 2011
10/31/11
3:35
PM ET
"The prayers are working," said Pat Russo, who runs the Atlas Cops and Kids boxing program, after telling NYFightBlog that New York amateur boxing star Pedro Sosa made it through surgery at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx this morning. "He's out of the operating room, they're cleaning him up. He made it through." Russo told us that the surgery was to stop bleeding in his brain.

Sosa, 19, was due to turn pro this week. He's the top-ranked amateur at 141 pounds, who hoped to use his fierce left hook to lift his family up. The former Junior Olympic, National PAL, USA Boxing, National Golden Gloves and contender for a 2012 Olympic berth was hit by a car and thrown from an overpass on the Cross Bronx Expressway on Sunday morning, along with his sister, Jennifer, who died.

Sosa trained out of the Washington Heights Cops and Kids (formerly Police Athletic League) facility.

In a horrific twist, the New York Post reported that Pedro's mother, Angela Escoto, was on the phone with Jennifer* right after the siblings got into a pileup on the icy road; Jennifer told her mom she was OK, and then the call dropped. Apparently, the vehicle struck her as she was reassuring her mother she was all right.

*Note: Jennifer's name has been spelled differently in different press accounts.
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pedro sosa

Bronx amateur star Pedro Sosa in coma

October, 31, 2011
10/31/11
11:15
AM ET
Pedro Sosa fought on the streets in the Dominican Republic, and he fought on the streets of the Bronx when he moved there at age 10. Today, Sosa, 19, is fighting for his life after a car accident claimed his sister, Jennifer Sosa, and put him in a coma.

The 2011 National Golden Gloves champion, who fell just short of making the 2012 Olympics for the U.S., was on the Cross Bronx Expressway driving with his sister at about 5:45 on Sunday morning when a pileup occurred. They exited their car to "check on a car ahead of them," according to the Daily News. That's when another vehicle slammed into them, and sent them flying off an overpass, about 75 feet down.

They were taken to Jacobi Medical Center. Jennifer, the mother of a toddler, died. Pedro, a left-hooker who fought at 141 pounds, was "barely clinging to life," the News reported.

UPDATE, 11:40 AM MONDAY: Pat Russo, who runs the Atlas Cops and Kids boxing program, told NYFightBlog that Sosa is in the operating room at Jacobi. Doctors, he said, are investigating internal bleeding in Sosa's body. Pedro trained at the Cops and Kids facility in Washington Heights.

We send prayers out to Pedro and family.

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