Juan Carlos Robles doesn’t need any additional advertisements to convey the message he’s a tough guy.
The cruiserweight boxer from Staunton, Va., looks formidable enough with his tattoos and Mohawk.
But if you take a closer look at Robles, you see something that raises tough to a whole new level - a piece of a finger hanging on a necklace.
“It does draw a crowd,” Robles said before his fight Friday at the Maryland Sportsplex in Millersville.
Let’s take tough, though, and magnify it by a few degrees. The dried, cured piece of finger hanging around Robles neck isn’t from someone else. It is his right pinkie - which he cut off himself.
Who would want to fight this guy?
Robles, 30, is a bona fide tough guy without the amputated digit. But cutting off his finger puts him in the Tough (or Crazy) Hall of Fame, ahead of former NFL safety Ronnie Lott, who had the tip of his left pinkie removed following the 1985 season after it was crushed during a tackle.
Lott had a medical procedure. He had doctors and nurses and surgical supplies.
Robles had a chisel and a 15-pound weight.
“I did a good job,” Robles said. “It healed perfectly. The doctors were impressed.”
Robles performed the Home Depot surgery to get back into the ring after an April 2007 motorcycle accident put him out of commission for nine months. He was driving home early one morning on his Suzuki 1100 when he skidded going around a curve, and the motorcycle fell down a ravine and hit a culvert.
“I was laying in a ditch with a broken arm and my knee all messed up,” Robles said. “We [Robles and his trainer, Bruce Frank] were going to go to the Patriot Center that night to watch a fight.”
Robles managed to get his cell phone out and call Frank to tell him he was lying in a ditch all banged up.
“I said, ‘Don’t call me. I didn’t go to medical school,” Frank said. “Call the hospital.”
He did, and it turned out Robles had a broken right kneecap, dislocated right elbow, broken right forearm and road rash on his right ring and pinkie fingers.