Burroughs wins another world wrestling title
His left ankle was held together by five screws and a plate for stability. Burroughs, who lives in Sicklerville, Camden County, broke his ankle four weeks ago during his training for the world wrestling championships.
He had surgery the next day. On Wednesday, the former Winslow Township standout captured a gritty 4-0 victory over Iran's Ezzatollah Akbarizarinkolaei in the men's 163-pound freestyle final at the Laszlo Papp Sports Arena.
The 2012 Olympic gold medalist, Burroughs won his second straight world championship and extended his unbeaten streak to 65 matches.
"I'm like Iron Man now," said Burroughs, 25. "I was running sprints at the OTC and tried to jump off the wall to stop my momentum and snapped it. The doctor made it extra stable for me to be able to compete. . . . I have only wrestled live once in the last four weeks and that was here.
"It's definitely the biggest win of my career. It's special, real special."
Burroughs, who won two NCAA championships at the University of Nebraska, was defending the title he earned in Istanbul in 2011. He beat another Iranian, Sadegh Goudarzi, in the 2011 world and 2012 Olympic finals.
He outscored his five opponents by a combined 34-3 on Wednesday.
Burroughs complimented Akbarizarinkolaei for his effort. The Iranian, who also lost to Burroughs at the World Cup in Tehran in February, kept his rival from scoring early in the match. Burroughs' four points against him were the fewest the New Jersey native scored in his five matches.
"He definitely gave me my best test of the day, but I was able to pull it out so I'm extremely happy," Burroughs said. "The last time [teammates] saw me I was on crutches, now they're looking at me and I'm winning world titles. Amazing."