by Nick Giongco
Miracles do happen and boxing is one sport—despite its savage nature—that has been a recipient of many of these life-changing events.
Renerio Arizala, who underwent a craniotomy (brain surgery) to remove a blood clot following a KO loss last March 31 in Yokohama, Japan, is on the road to recovery.
In a video posted by Japanese boxing man and Yokohama resident Kei Nidaira, a member of world champion Jerwin Ancajas’s team, Arizala was shown talking, downing a sports drink from a plastic bottle and even throwing punches in the air while speaking with Nidaira.
“Salamat po sa mga dasal nyo at mabilis akong gumaling (Thanks for all your prayers and I am feeling much better),” said Arizala, who suffered a sixth-round stoppage at the hands of Tsuyoshi Tameda.
Shortly after the official announcement, Arizala complained of a headache before passing out and paramedics were quick to bring him to the Yokohama Minato Red Cross Hospital.
Nidaira said it was “a miracle” to see Arizala’s vast improvement in a matter of days.
“April 7, he only spoke 1 word—Orange Juice. He has paralysis on his left arm and leg. His right side of the body is normal but no power,” said Nidaira.
“April 8, he started eating and drinking. He talked a lot and April 9, he asked me to turn on music. He drank a lot of sports drinks. He used my smartphone to try video call to his friend by his right hand,” narrated Nidaira.
Then on Wednesday, “he suddenly moved actively on the bed and his paralysis on left side body was gone from that day. He finished all the foods served by breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He finished 4 bottles of sports drinks 500ml from morning until night.”
While being visited by Nidaira, who posted the video on youtube, Arizala, 24, expressed his thanks to Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra.
“Salamat chairman sa suporta (Thank you chairman for the support,” said Arizala, who sadly entered the Tameda fight on a seemingly-futile streak stretching back to 2015, the last time he won a fight.
Nidaira, who gifted Arizala with a pair of sneakers and sweater, went to see him for four straight days, joined by current OPBF superlightweight champion Rikki Naito and Japan-based Filipino boxer Rey Orais.
Arizala has one wish as he gears up for his return to the country.
“Sana po makabalik na ako sa itaas ng ring para mapalaban sa championship. Ito (boxing) ang first love ko at sabi nga first love never dies (I hope I get to fight again and vie for the championship. Boxing is my first love and as they say, first love never dies),” he said.
Mitra doesn’t seem willing to grant that wish, citing Arizala’s well-being as the main reason.
Instead, Mitra has something more appropriate in mind for the fallen fighter.
“I will employ him at the GAB upon his return,” said Mitra, adding that Arizala is still scheduled to undergo rehab before heading back to the Philippines in about a month’s time.