MIAMI -

A former lightweight boxing champion avoided serious injury after a boat exploded Thursday on the Miami River.

The explosion occurred shortly after noon at 2190 NW North River Drive.

Braulio Santiesteban, the boat's mechanic, told Local 10 News the owner of the 32-foot Monterey was filling it up with gas when he heard a spark moments before the explosion.

The boat was engulfed in flames, but Santiesteban and the boat's owner escaped with only a minor burn to the back of Santiesteban's leg.

Firefighters battled heavy smoke and flames but were able to contain the fire from spreading to the other boats moored nearby.

Santiesteban told Local 10 News he feels lucky to be alive.

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