MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxer ZC Oliveros “Z” Gorres is back in the Philippines, more than 3 months after he was sidelined by a career-ending brain injury.
“Talagang masayang-masaya ako na nakabalik na po ako ng Pilipinas. Makikita ko po muli sa wakas ang mga anak ko,” Gorres said in an interview with ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda.
Gorrez, also known as "The Dream," arrived from the United States at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 at around 5 a.m. Tuesday. He will proceed to Cebu at 9:30 a.m. to be reunited with his children.
He was accompanied by his wife, Datches, physician Dr. Ben Calderon, and manager Michael Aldeguer.
Gorres will continue with his rehabilitation so that he may be able to walk again. As earlier reported, his return to the ring is a very remote possibility.
“Depende po ‘yan po kung pero sa tingin ko, sabi ni Dr. Calderon, hindi na raw dahil sa utak po yung surgery,” he replied when asked if he will still be making a comeback.
Meantime, he said that he is feeling well: “Okay naman po pero medyo inuubo ako dahil po sa klima sa Vegas, umulan, uminit ganyan po.”
He then expressed his gratitude to those who helped him get through his ordeal.
“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa mga taong sumuporta sa akin lalung-lalo na ang mga Pilipino nagdarasal, ‘di lang dito sa Pilipinas kasi doon sa Vegas ‘di ko inakala na ganun ang bigay ng suporta ng tao sa Las Vegas.”
Gorres fought Colombian Luis Melendez in Las Vegas in November and won the fight despite getting knocked down by Melendez in the final round.
But moments after he was declared the winner of the 10-round bout via unanimous decision, he collapsed and was rushed to the University Medical Center (UMC).
Doctors performed an emergency operation on Gorres’ brain to remove a blood clot.
He went through another major surgery because doctors needed to put back the part of the skull that was taken out in his first surgery.
The months have passed and doctors saw Gorres' recovery as short of miraculous.
Physician Dr. Ben Calderon said he is pleased with Gorres’ progress.
The fallen Cebuano fighter can now even move the left side of his body and can also walk a little bit without any assistance.
He was even at ringside in last Saturday’s (Sunday in Manila) Pinoy Power 3/Latin Fury 13 to show support for his fellow Filipino boxers.
He was supposed to be included in the Pinoy Power 3 fight card but the brain injury got in the way.
Meantime, Gorres and his wife are happy for the support they are getting from fellow boxers especially pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao.
Pacquiao, who also graced the Pinoy Power 3 event at the Las Vegas Hilton, appealed to the crowd to provide assistance to Gorres. He even spoke about a fundraiser for the injured fighter.
The 7-division world champion said he and Top Rank Promotions big boss Bob Arum have already given their monetary support. Pacquiao preferred not to reveal the how much he gave Gorres.
For now, the big problem facing the Gorres family is their huge hospital bill amounting to $562,000 or more than P26 million.
Doctors and boxing coaches in Las Vegas are now pushing for a Z Gorres bill which they hope can raise the insurance of boxers from the current $50,000 to $1 million.