Pedro Sosa continues to improve

The family and friends of amateur boxing star Pedro Sosa of the Bronx were pleased with his progress today, as the 19 year-old pugilist, who was hit by a car on the Cross Bronx Expressway on Sunday morning after exiting his vehicle following a pileup, has been responding to doctors who are gauging his recovery.

Sosa, who was due to sign a professional contract with manager Shelly Finkel and promoter Oscar De La Hoya on Monday, is not fully conscious. He had surgery to assess the extent of internal injuries on Monday afternoon, following a 75-foot drop to the ground from an overpass on Sunday, but brain damage and spinal chord damage have been ruled out. He now moves his body, and tries to get out of his bed at Jacobi Medical Center, according to trainer/mentor Marcos Suarez.

"He tries to open his eyes," ESPN New York was told by Suarez, who said doctors are confident the young man will awaken within the next couple days.

Tragically, Sosa's sister Jennifer, who was to turn 21 in December, died after being hit by the car which struck Pedro. She leaves behind a boy, Jefferson, age 1 1/2. Suarez said Jefferson will be taken in by Pedro's mother, Angela.