By STEVE ARCHBOLD
TRAINER Terry Baff knew immediately something was wrong when his son Daniel dropped his right hand during a boxing bout at the Coffs Harbour Ex-Services Club on Friday night.
His worst fears were realised when x-rays confirmed on Monday that Daniel had suffered a hairline fracture of his thumb.
The injury, which is likely to keep Daniel out for six to weight weeks has ruled out any chance of him contesting the Arafura Games in Darwin.
Daniel was in the second round of his amateur bout with Victorian-based New Guinean Rudi Suchenik when he suffered the injury before going on to record a unanimous points decision in the four two-minute rounds.
Terry said as a southpaw, Suchenik proved to be a difficult opponent.
"One of Daniel's punches missed the mark when Suchenik turned his head and instead of copping him flush on the cheek it ended up being a glancing blow to the side of the head," Terry said.
Terry believes a ridiculous rule fore amateur boxers contributed to the injury.
"In amateur bouts you are only allowed to have a six foot stretched bandage to wrap around your hand and there is no protection for the thumb," Terry said.
"It is ridiculous when you consider the thumb isn't involved in the punch so there is no reason why it can't be protected."
Terry said he and Daniel would sit down and discuss his son's immediate future after the injury has been assessed by a local doctor and surgery may again be required.
The latest injury is another bodyblow for a boxer who has suffered a horrendous run over the past few years.
Terry Baff said it may now be time for Daniel to give up the chance of representing his country after a number of failed bids to fight at Commonwealth and Olympic Games and turn professional.
"Daniel has been sounded out to begin a professional career and this would mean we could use more strapping to protect his thumb,"Terry said.
"While Daniel would have loved to fight for Australia in the amateur ranks boxing is his trade and he can't live off winning medals."
Local southpaw Kyle Nichol still has a bright future according to Baff despite a debut loss to Kempsey's Kurt Delaforce on Friday night.
Coffs Harbour's Justin Clements regained his Australian light heavyweight title with a points decision over Queenslander Glen Fitzpatrick.