Brandon Berry’s left shoulder is sore all the time. It has been for a couple weeks.

“I’m getting used to it, which probably isn’t a good thing,” Berry said.

It’s been three weeks since Berry injured the shoulder in the first round of his fight against Freddy Sanchez at the Portland Expo on Nov. 15. Berry said he felt the shoulder partially pop out of its socket in the first round. In the second round, it popped completely out before going back in. By the third round, Berry could barely get his arm up to defend himself from Sanchez’s punches. Barely two minutes into the fourth round, the ref stopped the fight. It was Berry’s first professional loss, a TKO.

A recent MRI revealed the extent of the damage to Berry’s shoulder. “Extensive labral tear,” reads the MRI report Berry posted on his Facebook page. Surgery is inevitable. Berry said surgery hasn’t been scheduled yet, but it will be soon. That will be followed by 10 to 12 weeks of rehabilitation. Then, hopefully, he’ll be able to spar. Berry’s boxing career is in a holding pattern.

This is Berry’s first serious injury, and he’s figuring out how to handle the time away from the gym. He doesn’t like it.

“I’ve been doing this for the better part of nine years, and I’ve never taken two weeks off in a row. Now I’m at two and a half weeks,” Berry said on Wednesday afternoon. “I’ll use this as a positive thing. The doctors tell me I’ll be able to do cardio the day of surgery. I’ll bring a whole new level to cardio. I used to go to the gym, and spend an hour on the bag or hitting the mitts. Obviously, that’s out of the picture.

“There’s nothing you can do about it. You can be positive, or you can let it be a setback.”

Berry started his pro career with eight consecutive wins. Just over a month before losing to Sanchez, Berry defeated Eric Palmer at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston via unanimous decision in six rounds. Berry knew that Sanchez would be his toughest opponent to date.

“With two good arms, with three good arms, that would’ve been a tough fight. I don’t want to use (the injury) as an excuse. Freddy is a really good fighter,” Berry said. “I’ve lost before. I know what it’s like to lose. Losing’s not new to me, but it was new to a lot of the crowd.

Berry and his trainer, Ken “Skeet” Wyman, planned to fight again in April. They planned to host another night of boxing at Carrabec High School in North Anson, where Berry packed the gym and won a decision over Josh Parker on April 26.

Berry has made no secret that he’s trying to advance in the professional boxing world, but the Sanchez fight was Berry’s third fight in 59 days. Was that too much? Did the workload set Berry up to fail against a strong fighter like Sanchez?

“I’ve been asked that a lot, and I don’t believe so,” Berry said. “The fight in Manchester (Berry defeated Theo Desjardin with a first round knockout in Manchester, N.H., on Sept. 18) was a quick one. Maybe my body could’ve used a little more rest, but I want to fight every month. I love it.”

Berry has watched the Sanchez fight a few times, and he regrets one thing.

“I was trying to trade (punches) with the guy, even though I only had one arm,” Berry said. “I was thinking I could catch him with a right. I’m just glad I didn’t quit.”

Berry has talked to people who have had similar shoulder surgery.

“The best advice has been, do the rehab. Really trust the doctors and listen. Trust the process,” Berry said.

Berry’s professional boxing career is on hold. He has some healing to do. If Berry goes at his shoulder recovery with the zeal he went at the first nine fights of his career, it’s not close to being over.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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