R.I.P., Benjamin Flores
Five years ago we brought you the story of Benjamin Flores, a gritty boxer from Houston who was working his way up out of poverty through his fighting skills.
Reporter Michael Serazio detailed Flores' brief career to that point, and his relationship to his family.
Both Miguel and Benjamin's mother, Oliva, worry about the risk of boxing, having seen, in Miguel, the danger of a head injury, though both cope in different ways.
"After, when he's 30 years old, when his career's over, I don't want him to have any scars or anything like that. I want him to be like when God brought him to the earth," says Miguel, through an interpreter. "That's why I push him so hard.
"This [boxing] is not a joke. This is serious -- that's why I push so hard, so that won't happen. Yeah, I'm worried about my son forgetting things or having mental problems because of those kind of injuries."
Unfortunately, those concerns were not misplaced. Flores died today, from injuries he received in the ring.
Three weeks short of his 25th birthday, Flores had been knocked out in a charity bout in Dallas last week.
Here's how one boxing website described the fight:
Though Seeger outclassed Flores throughout, he never really seemed to noticeably hurt Benjamin until it was too late. In fact, my initial thought was that Cole had intervened a bit prematurely, given there were no knockdowns.
Nonetheless, after waving the fight off, Cole astutely noticed that something was wrong and held Flores up until a stool was gathered. Unfortunately, Flores was unable to sit upright under his own power and asked Cole to allow him to lie down.
Shortly thereafter, Flores lost consciousness.
At this point, emergency medical staff joined the ringside physician in aiding Flores. Though his eyes were closed, Benjamin's arms would twitch every so often.
The festive mood of the "Fight Night" ballroom quickly turned to concern and Benjamin's brother was inconsolable. Some jackass who called himself a photographer jumped onto the ring apron to snap shots of Flores' prone body and was told to "show some class" by a wise, anonymous voice from the audience.
An oxygen mask was placed on Flores' face, his body was put on a stretcher and he was rushed to Parkland Hospital where he underwent surgery for swelling on his brain.
After the medical procedure, members of Flores' camp said the prognosis didn't look good.
No word yet on services.