A misdiagnosed outlet issue almost brought the promising career of Qamil Balla to a grinding halt.
As his two fights in two years suggests, the undefeated former Australian light welterweight titleholder has endured a frustrating spell outside of the ropes. However, this all changes when he returns on Saturday night.
Balla, 27, will face Thai import Terdchai Duwangmontree in an eight round non-title fight at the Melbourne Park Function Centre as he begins to prepare for what could possibly be the biggest twelve months of his career.
In a recent interview with Aus-Boxing, Balla reveals the confusion behind his injury-forced layoff.
“I actual found out recently what my problem was with my shoulder,” said Balla. “It turns out that my first surgery was a complete waste, which was a downer. We eventually found out the problem was Thoracic outlet syndrome,”
“I got it sorted a couple of months ago now. It was a pretty big operation that took three hours,”
“It was compressing my artery that goes to my left arm. It would actually go numb there would be no pulse in it. Doctor Peter Lewis was the one that diagnosed it. I told him about it and he looked in to it and diagnosed it.”
“I was always thinking all the time ‘What’s wrong with this stupid left hand?’ and I thought I was going to have to push through it. I was going to have to fight southpaw until it felt better, loosened up and went back to normal.”
“I think I have been putting up with it for the past four years, before I turned professional. I told my trainers that I had a problem – it was with my left shoulder – and we had just been adjusting to it for each fight,”
“After I fought Jack Brubaker for the Australian title, it had just had enough. It completely seized up,”
“I couldn’t move my arm straight after the fight. I had an operation to fix it and turned out it was something else.”
With the problem now diagnosed and rehabilitated, Balla (8-0-1, 3 KOs) can now focus on his development in the ring as he looks to secure a fight with fellow Australian lightweight rivals George Kambosos Jr. and Brandon Ogilvie.
To prepare for Duwangmontree, Balla has sparred stablemate Will Tomlinson and most recently, Nathaniel May.
“I did twelve rounds with Nathaniel May about a week ago,” he explained. “It was the first time I had done twelve rounds in ages. I was able to let my jab go the whole time and I didn’t even have to switch to southpaw, not once.”
“I’m really excited for this, as this is really my first fight back. I’m nervous in a good way but more excited than nervous. This fight is as important as any other fight as it’s going to set me up to keep on rolling,”
“This will now be the first fight of many and the start of hopefully a good run of fights.”
In the time that has passed, Balla celebrated the birth of his first child. And with another on the way, the talented former amateur starlet has returned with a renewed vigour for both his training and competition.
“I’m very optimistic, the break allowed me to get my life sorted,” he continued. “I’m now hungrier than ever to get back into it; I feel even better. I’m a father now and expecting another, so it’s all coming together for me.”
“I’m back boxing, I’m married and I have a kid and another one on the way. I can’t ask for more than that.”
They say a happy fighter is a dangerous fighter, which for Balla, makes him even more prolific than before.
“I just want to get through this next fight now and be a lot more active,” he concluded. “Because of the surgery I had, I had only had one fight in a year after that. I want to be a lot more active and get my name out there.”
“You can look forward to seeing a lot more of me. I’m back.”
Photo: Getty Images