Michigan boxer Troy Rowland gets a crack at the big time on November 14. For now, though, he's focused on his hospitalized brother. (Photo via media.mlive.com)
The November 14 card main evented by Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao has had plenty of camp drama in the main event. But nobody on the card that night is having as rough a time preparing as undercard fighter Troy Rowland, who comes in as a heavy underdog and perceived tomato can against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Rowland's camp itself has gone fine. But more importantly, his brother Shane is currently hospitalized and in a coma, suffering from the H1N1 virus, reports David Mayo of The Grand Rapids Press.
Troy Rowland has been told several times by different people not to visit, that there's nothing he can do. Yet, he ignored the advice, donned a hospital mask and visited anyway.
"Everybody says, 'Stay away, stay away, stay away.' But he's my brother," he said.
Troy Rowland called John Mason on Saturday night and told the trainer he would not train Monday. In seven years as a professional, it was the first time anyone in Team Rowland remembered the fighter cancelling a training session.
Mason didn't know the severity of the situation then. But he sensed it.
"I listen to Troy and I can tell how he feels," Mason said. "I knew he wasn't right."
This, more than the upcoming fight, is Troy Rowland's reality right now. A win over Chavez would be massive for his career -- a huge break. He's been perceived as a weak, hand-picked opponent, but bigger upsets than Rowland over Chavez have happened for sure.
I can't help but root for Troy, and I'll admit that. He's a Michigan fighter, and now I'm even further hoping he pulls it out. Best wishes to his brother and the rest of his family.