MANILA, Philippines – The reports following Giovani Segura’s eighth-round TKO loss to Brian Viloria last Sunday were grim.
Rumors circulated that Segura fractured his right orbital bone and possibly suffered a blood clot, casting doubt on the future prospects of former RING junior flyweight champion.
Yet as he sat in his luxury hotel suite in Makati City, Philippines on Thursday afternoon, there was no hint of the pessimism that has dominated public chatter.
Sure, there was still evidence of the grotesque swelling that had developed on the right side of his head, drawing comparisons to the massive hematoma Hasim Rahman suffered during his bout with Evander Holyfield. But other than the swelling and black marks underneath both eyes, Segura said he’s just fine.
“Thank God I’m OK and I have no injuries,” said Segura (28-2, 24 knockouts), of Bell, Calif., by way of Guerrero, Mexico. “I have no risk of something serious happening to me.”
There was considerable concern following the 29-year-old veteran’s defeat at theY├▒ares Sports Arena in Pasig City as he was rushed off to Medical City Hospital for testing. Despite the swelling, three doctors (a neurologist, an ear and nose doctor and an optometrist) all cleared Segura to be released Wednesday morning after initially forecasting that he’d have to stay until Saturday. Instead, Segura will be returning home to Southern California on Saturday to reassess his career.
“They say there’s a little fracture, but it might be an old fracture and if it is it’s gonna take care of itself,” said Segura. “There’s no need for surgery. They didn’t touch nothing, they just gave me some antibiotics for the swelling.
“They say that I might have broken a blood vessel and that’s what caused the swelling. It went into the weak part of the head, which is the eye and the cheek.”
Most fights that end due to facial damage are stopped due to bleeding, yet the irony here is that the physicians told Segura that had he been cut, the trapped blood would have been released, relieving the swelling that impaired his vision and allowing him to continue fighting.
Segura said that doctors assured him that once his swelling goes down, his career and training can resume uninterrupted. Yet there is one pain that no doctor or morphine can relieve or diagnose, and that is the pain he feels from having lost a fight and his foothold among the top pound for pound fighters in the sport.
Segura, whose only prior loss was to to Cesar Canchilla in another fight where his right eye closed, says that he will take time off to heal, then try to work his way back to a rematch with Viloria (30-3, 17 KOs).
“I feel bad about my loss because I’m a very competitive person,” said Segura. “I think no one likes to lose, from that side I am hurt. I am mad at myself. I’m not mad at Brian, I have nothing against him. I’m still friends with him. I have nothing bad to say about him. This is just sport and it has to be looked at like a sport. I do want to fight to get a rematch with him. I have to get back in the gym and work on my errors as soon as possible and just get a fight.
“With who? Whoever wants it.”
Richard Mota, who manages Segura, says that it is too early to begin making plans for a rematch, insisting that Segura’s health is the foremost concern of all involved. He says that once Segura has fully recuperated and returns to the gym, he and Segura’s promoter Zanfer Promotions will work to get Segura a confidence-boosting win before planning a return to the championship level.
While a loss is a loss, Mota does feel that a loss isn’t without it’s silver lining.
“After this defeat everybody is going to call us out because he’s not the boogeyman anymore,” said Mota. “Here’s a true story, (WBA 108-pound titleholder) Roman Gonzalez didn’t want to fight us before, now he’s saying he wants us to come back down to 108 and fight for his title. It’s going to be a lot easier for us to get good fights now.”
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to GMA News and the Filipino Reporter newspaper in New York City. He is also a member of The Ring ratings panel. He can be reached at [email protected]. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.