A boxer has been granted parole less than a week after he won a South American title during a fight in prison, Paraguayan authorities said on Thursday.
Richard “Panther” Moray had a promising start to his boxing career before he got involved with drugs and was locked up in 2012 for aggravated robbery.
In a fight behind bars on Friday last week, the 31-year-old knocked out Brazilian Carlos “Caolho” Santos de Jesus in the first of 12 rounds.
Paraguayan boxing officials said the fight earned Moray the super welterweight title of South America.
On Thursday, a local court granted him conditional release from prison. He was also ordered to coach boxing for inmates at a prison in the Paraguayan capital as part of his community service.
Moray had served six years and eight months of a seven-year sentence. Because he lacked a defense lawyer to file paperwork, he was unable to take advantage of a law that lets inmates leave prison after completing half their sentence.
For a few years in jail he worked as a carpenter, but then his trainer, Fabio Romero, helped him get back in boxing shape.
Moray three years ago got a shot for a real match held inside the prison and won against an overmatched opponent.
There are questions about the legitimacy of the belt Moray won in last week’s bout. It was purportedly sanctioned by the Brazil-based National and International Boxing Association, but there is little evidence online of the association, whose representative in Paraguay is Moray’s trainer.
Still, the match was promoted by the Paraguayan Ministry of Justice as an example of prison rehabilitation, and gave Moray a puncher’s chance at a revived career in the ring.
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