The former IBF bantamweight world champion Randy Caballero has been absent from the ring since September of last year, and in that fight against Diego De La Hoya, he also suffered his first loss. But he has been dealing with a plethora of physical problems, the most serious and consistent of which has been his right ankle. Nobody could come up with a concrete diagnosis, but thanks to Loma Linda Hospital, Randy just might finally be on the mend.
Just last week he had surgery to repair his ankle, and he explained just what was done and the surprise they found.
“My tendons were too tight, so they loosened them up and then put an anchor in to hold them in place. Then they found that I actually had an extra bone on the side of my foot that they took out. The procedure was supposed to take four hours but it actually took five due to that extra bone. It took a while to get it out.
“This has been going on for years,” Caballero continued. “I have been trying to get it better and nobody could ever find out what was going on. Finally this doctor from Loma Linda figured it out. Loma Linda is where I ended up going for my past surgeries and they find the problem, and that’s what happened in this case. You try to avoid surgery; we were in therapy and trying everything else so that’s why it took so long, but I ended up having to get the surgery.”
The surgery wasn’t the hardest part. The doctor wants Randy off the foot for two months and there will be no therapy until that time has passed. Because of what he does, the doctor wants to be sure that everything is ready to go.
“I really do want to come back and fight, but as I told my team, my main reason was so that I could live my life without this pain. I want to be able to go out with my kids and do activities. It got to the point where my son wanted to go hiking and within 10 minutes I was in a lot of pain, but he was having so much fun I just had to go finish it with him. I couldn’t coach the basketball team because it was hard for me to run down the court with the kids. There was just so much I couldn’t do.
“As far as boxing, it’s been a long lay-off; I don’t know how my body is going to be. But I do feel better. I will know more once I get back in the gym. Right now I feel as if I still have that fire to box, but stepping into the ring in that gym is a whole different feeling. I sat down with my dad (who is also his trainer) and told him, ‘Look, if I come back to the gym and you feel that I am not ready, you tell me!’ He has always told me the truth.’
“Luckily, I got to capture a world title,” he reminded us. “Most fighters that are still fighting and busting their ass aren’t ever gonna get to say that. I luckily traveled the world, and got to win a world title. If it is the end of the road for me so be it, but to me I don’t think I’m done. I think I have another couple of title fights in me. So I’m hoping I do get to come back.”
Randy’s attitude is upbeat and positive, and right now he is looking forward to the future, one that finds him pain-free and hopefully in the ring doing his job and winning fights.