Rehabilitation after an injury or surgery often is tedious if not frustrating for an athlete accustomed to taking his body to its physical limits.
West Forks boxer Brandon “The Cannon” Berry would rather be battling an opponent in the ring these days but has found the bright side of being sidelined for nearly four months after suffering a dislocated left shoulder during the first round of his lone professional loss to undefeated Freddy Sanchez at the Portland Exposition Building.
Surgery followed on Jan. 15.
“I’d been boxing for nine years straight, or at least training all the time,” said Berry, a light welterweight who is 8-1 with five knockouts since turning pro in May 2013 after a successful amateur career. “I feel like mentally this was a great time for me to take a break. I’ve taken a few months where I really didn’t do much. I had good rest and my body feels great, so I guess in a way I look at it as a blessing in disguise.
“I’d have rather not had the injury, but it was a good break. I needed the rest.”
Berry is not yet back to a regular training regimen; he’s still undergoing physical rehabilitation in Skowhegan twice a week. But he recently returned to his training base at Wyman’s Boxing Club in Stockton Springs in preparation for the resumption of full boxing workouts, possibly in a couple of weeks.
“I run every day, jump rope, shadow box, do all my ab work,” he said. “The only thing they’re holding me back on is they don’t want me to hit the heavy bag or spar yet, and that’s only for precaution. These last few weeks are the most dangerous time because everything feels so perfect, but I guess this is when the injuries re-occur, when you get that confidence back.
“I’ve never looked back, and every day is better. I’ve had no setbacks, no pain, my arm feels 100 percent. It’s unbelievable. I can’t believe how quick it got better.”
Berry is targeting a June 20 boxing show back at the Portland Expo for his formal return to the ring.
“Mentally I feel like I could go in there with somebody right now, but my conditioning probably could use the extra two months so I’ll use it to the fullest and be in the best shape of my life,” he said.
“It’s better off taking a little more time than you need to make sure everything heals the right way, which is what we’re doing.”
Plans are in the works for Berry to headline a July boxing show in Skowhegan.
“I’m anxious to fight back in Somerset County,” said Berry, who last fought near the Route 201 corridor that leads to West Forks on April 26, 2014, when he scored a unanimous decision over Josh Parker at Carrabec High School in North Anson.
“Although Skowhegan’s an hour from my house, it’s a hometown fight for me.”