BUFFALO — Niagara Falls Junior Welterweight boxer Nick Casal is recovering from a gang assaut that reportedly took place Friday night in Buffalo.
Word of the attack first surfaced on the boxing blog Fight News, with confirmation coming from Casal and his father, Ray, on their respective Facebook pages.
Photos posted on the boxing blog show the back of Casal’s head with three deep gashes. Another picture shows a long and deep gash on the side of Casal’s head.
It’s not clear where Casal was treated and whether or not he remains hospitalized.
On his Facebook page, Casal wrote, “Hey everyone im ok.. thanks for the wishes.. i got some staples and stitches.”
The boxing blog said Casal (22-4-1, 17 KOs) was “out with his girlfriend when he was brutally attacked from behind by a gang wielding golf clubs.”
The blog and a report in the the Boxing Tribune said “the attackers were identified as (Casal’s girlfriend’s) ex-boyfriend and his friends.” The gash on the side of Casal’s head was reportedly at least a foot long.
Casal may have also suffered a broken arm in the attack.
Calls to a Buffalo Police spokesman were not immediately returned. Casal’s father declined to comment when contacted by a reporter Sunday night.
Immediately after the attack, Ray Casal wrote on his Facebook page, “My son was brutally attacked last night and I know everyone is hearing things about it. I want you all to know he’s ok and in the hospital for a few days. (He) received over 300 stitches to the head.”
Casal said police are investigating the attack and that he had faith his son’s assailants would be caught.
”Cowards are always brought to justice,” he wrote on Facebook. “God was with him. He will be ok. Thank you for all the love sent to me and my son and our family.”
Casal had been preparing and training for the biggest fight of his career on June 29. The fight, set to be held in the Falls, was to be against Russian Provodnikov (21-1, 14 KOs) for the World Boxing Organization Inter-Continental title.
The fight was scheduled to be the main event of a nationally televised boxing card on ESPN2, Friday Night Fights. The fight is now expected to be postponed.
Casal’s promoter, Mario Yagobi, released a statement that said, “First of all, I just want to thank God Nick Casal is alive and we ask everyone to pray for his health and a full recovery.”
In his last Facebook post, Ray Casal said his son was already looking better.
”Nick looked great today he really is a tough kid,” Casal wrote. “The doctors said he will make a full recovery and there is no damage to his skull or brain. Hard heads run in my family honestly. Just some rest time and back to life, Thank you God and all my friends for all the prayers. It really works and no one can tell me or Nick different.”