MANILA, Philippines – Former two-time world champion Luisito “Lindol” Espinosa is suffering from a life-threatening injury and will need to undergo surgery, according to an online report.
Espinosa, who recently fell on hard times, was diagnosed with an ear defect that could kill him if not corrected.
"My problem now is I have a left ear defect. There’s a bone pressing on my eardrum and the danger is I could die if it breaks through. I’ll need surgery in the ear,” he said in an interview which appeared in Quinito Henson’s Philippine Star column, Sporting Chance.
Espinosa, described as one of the best boxers ever produced by the Philippines, was one of the country’s biggest boxing stars in the 1990s.
He won the World Boxing Association (WBA) bantamweight belt by knocking out Khaokor Galaxy in 1989 and defended the title twice before losing it to Israel Contreras in 1991.
Espinosa won his second title, the World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight crown, in 1995 by outpointing Manuel Medina. He defended the title seven times before losing the belt in 1999 to Cesar Soto.
But the boxer suffered from financial ruin after promoters failed to honor his $150,000 purse in his title defense against Carlos Rios in 1997.
Espinosa kept on fighting to make ends meet. He eventually retired in 2005 after being knocked out by Cristobal Cruz.
Now based in the US, he now works as a carpet cleaner for a casino in Daly City.
Espinosa thanked fellow boxer Manny Pacquiao for helping him out in times of need. He said Pacquiao even promised to help him pay for his ear operation.
“Manny has always been kind and generous to me,” said Espinosa. “Manny told me he’ll help in paying for the operation."