Continued from page 1

“My pinkie finger was torn up really bad,” Robles said. “All the skin on the inside from the very inside crease up to the top was torn up. It stayed all curled up. I told the doctor we had to do something about that.”

Robles, though, didn’t have insurance and didn’t have enough money to cover the cost of the pinkie amputation. Doctors told him of a program at an area hospital in which he could have it done for free, but he would have to wait several months.

“I couldn’t wait,” said Robles, who works full time for an excavation company. “I was out for a while. I needed money, and I had a fight lined up.”

So he went home, put towels over the kitchen table and blocked off a working area with several two-by-fours. He put gauze around the area and twisted soldering wire around his right pinkie to slow the flow of blood.

“Then I put a wood chisel on it and dropped a 15-pound weight on the chisel,” Robles said. “The piece shot out about six feet like a missile.”

He called Frank and said, “Bruce, I took care of my little problem.”

Robles’ wife, Ginnie, took him to the hospital to get stitched up. First he told the doctors it came off accidentally. But the doctors had heard about Robles and suspected he had performed amateur surgery.

“It was giving me a problem,” Robles said he told the doctors. “If you had took it off in the first place when I asked you to, I wouldn’t be here. So I left it at the house so you wouldn’t try to put it back on. They looked at me like I was crazy.”

Can’t understand why they would do that.

Robles had posted a 9-0 record before the accident and quickly gained a reputation as a good, competitive fighter who gave fans their money’s worth. So he managed to get a shot at the World Boxing Council Continental Americas cruiserweight title in March, his first fight back since the accident, against veteran Rob Calloway, who had a 68-7-1 mark. Robles was stopped in eight rounds and then lost a six-round decision to William Bailey in August. But he looked good Friday in forcing Tommy Washington Jr. to quit after three rounds.

Robles doesn’t want to fight much longer.

“I fight because I enjoy it,” he said. “But there’s other things I want to do besides fight. I’m getting restless. I want to travel.”

He took a trip to Hollywood recently to audition for the Versus boxing reality show “The Contender.” Show producers had heard about Robles’ story and invited him out. He lasted two days.

“I gathered they thought my attitude would cause conflict for the show,” he said.

One of the concerns producers had was about fighting among contestants away from the ring, Robles said. He was asked what he would do if, say, one of the contestants tried to take his finger necklace.

Story Continues →