After a one year layoff from the sport, Vista, CA., native Aaron Garcia (9-1-2, 2KOs) is ready to get back into the squared circle with a renewed sense of motivation regarding the sport he loves. The 28-year-old San Diego fighter last fought to a second draw in a row with Jesus Hernandez in ’09 with two victories preceding the pair of draws in 2008. Having difficulties without the support of a promotional company, Aaron’s activity has been scarce and scattered, not to mention Aaron’s taking two full years off from ’06-’08 after suffering his first and only loss in May 2006.
The orthodox boxer who has been learning the sweet science alongside his three brothers since childhood under the tutelage of his father, had a very decorated amateur career before making the move to pro in ’04 under the then young Golden Boy Promotions. With over 150 amateur scraps, Garcia realized two national Golden Gloves titles, a silver medal at the Pan-Am games and was selected as an alternate two times on the Olympic boxing team.
Having just signed with San Diego manger/trainer and old friend Vince Parra and training under the tutelage of lead trainer and former California bantamweight champion Bumpy Parra, Aaron Garcia has a team in which he is confident and happy with. Having found the passion he once had as a child dreaming of being world champion someday, Aaron Garcia is back and ready to prove he has what it takes to fulfill his dreams. The 28-year-old ring gladiator is looking to move up the ladder quick and is rumored to be jumping right into the shark tank fighting touted prospect Charles Huerta (14-1, 8KOs), of Paramount, CA. No official announcement has been made as of press time.
Huerta last fought on July 23rd defeating Jonathan Arias on a card I covered at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in California. The fight was dull despite three Huerta knockdowns, up until the 6th and final round when Huerta finished of his challenger with two of the three knockdowns. Huerta though, was knocked out at 0:59 of the 1st round against Derrick Wilson four fights ago in July ’09 suffering his first and only defeat and the crushing knockout could still be lingering in the head of the young prospect and something Aaron Garcia may be able to exploit early.
I caught up with Aaron, who was with his father at Black House Team Nogueira training center in San Diego, CA., last Wednesday and he was kind enough to sit down with me for a few questions about where he’s coming from and where he’s going.
SDFights – First off Aaron, how did you get involved in boxing, what motivated you to get into the sport?
Aaron Garcia – My dad started this whole thing. I have three brothers that were training with me when I was like 8-years-old. My dad just pushed us and pushed us until today he is still here pushing me and it has been twenty years already. He just put us in boxing because it was what he used to love, he used to train and was like, “We’re all going to do this.” He started us in karate actually but then it started getting too expensive for him with three other brothers and spending hundreds of dollars a month because of training, tournaments and buying the belts and it just got to expensive and since he loved boxing, he was just like, “Lets go to boxing,” and ever since then, my dad has been pushing us and I have to thank him for that.
SDFights – Where did you grow up? Are you from San Diego?
Aaron Garcia – Yes I grew up in San Diego and lived in Oceanside and Vista, that’s were I actually grew up and was born.
SDFights – What kind of childhood did you have growing up?
Aaron Garcia – Like many Hispanic families out there, just poor and struggling. There’s eight people in our family so there’s four girls and four of us guys as well as my dad and mom working every day, it was hard.
SDFights – How long have you been working with Bumpy and Vince and how did you hook up with them?
Aaron Garcia – I was training in Indio [CA] and I just couldn’t afford it over there anymore, it was too expensive. I was training with Joel Diaz and the Diaz brothers and it was getting expensive so I called Vince, I had met him years ago and I had his number and asked if he could help me out and Vince said yes. Now I have been working with them for almost two months already and I like the chemistry, I like the way they train and they have a lot of good boxing knowledge with them.
SDFights – You haven’t fought in a year, have you been training all through that time?
Aaron Garcia – In the last year I have been training off and on but have been solid training for the last two months. It was always in my mind that I was going to fight again so I stayed in shape but I had to get a job you know? I have a little girl and had to work and take care of things, but I feel good, I feel strong and I feel comfortable and confident going into my next fight.
SDFights – What would you say is your style of fighting?
Aaron Garcia – I believe I am a little bit of a boxer-puncher, I do tend to stand there and punch because I love the combat of that. I do have a lot of boxing ability though, sometimes I just forget it but I do have it.
SDFights – What would you say is your best attribute?
Aaron Garcia – I’d have to say my body punches.
SDFights – Now that you’re 28-years-old and coming off a few layoffs from the sport, is there a sense of urgency to climb the ladder a little quicker than normal as if this is your last hoorah?
Aaron Garcia – Exactly, yes it is true this is my last hoorah but I’m still young and still feel young, I’m not like other like other 28-year-olds who have fought more than me. This is it for me, this is my last chance and I’m giving it 110% because this is all I have.
SDFights – I bet you’re excited to get the opportunity to fight Charles Huerta, what do you know about him?
Aaron Garcia – Yes very excited. I do not know that much, just a little bit from the amateurs but not much. I saw him once or twice in the amateurs and a couple times in the pros. I’m confident I’m going to go in there and win this fight.
SDFights – What will you need to do to come out victorious?
Aaron Garcia – Just listen to my coaches Bumpy and Vince, use the strategy and game plan and just go in there and try to break him down with boxing and punches.
SDFights – Are there any boxers you look up to or like watching in the past or present?
Aaron Garcia – I always admired Marco Antonio Berrera and Juan Manuel Marquez because they are good boxer-punchers and I admire that style.
SDFights – Last question Aaron, what is your ultimate goal in the sport of boxing when it is all said and done?
Aaron Garcia – Honestly I would just love to win a world title fight. My main goal right now is just to get the ball rolling and after that, God willing, get a title shot and get that title and I believe I will be ready for that within a year, year and a half. I have the ability to get in there with the top dogs and give them hell.
SDFights – Thank you Aaron for your time and we look forward to seeing you in the future.
Aaron Garcia - Thank you so much.
I also had a few words with Aaron’s trainers, Bumpy and Vince Parra, as Bumpy was kind enough to give me a lift back to my place after the training session and here is what they had to say about their newest pupil.
SDFights – Bumpy what did you first see in Aaron that motivated you to want to work with him in the first place?
Bumpy Parra – Vince actually picked him up because Aaron called Vince and Vince asked me to work with him so that’s what happened.
SDFights – How has the collaboration been working out thus far?
Bumpy Parra – So far it is good because both of us [Vince] are working with him. There were certain things I looked at with him and he was still fighting like an amateur, he wasn’t putting any power in his punches because he was pointing with them but now he realizes, “Hey wait a minute, maybe I am doing it wrong.” He’s worked with Mercito Gesta for a couple of weeks now and held his own getting good results and he also worked really well with Chris Martin. So that’s kind of what’s going on, he has surprised himself after just a couple weeks of working with him and we just changed up a couple little things because he is a good fighter but he was hitting with the wrong part of his hands instead of his knuckles or pivoting with his punches to get power, he wasn’t using his legs but all arms. So more than anything it just has been a technical transition.
SDFights – With Aaron being 28-years-old and taking some time off, will you be looking to move him along at a faster pace than normal?
Bumpy Parra – Yes because he has got that experience and I think he has the right stuff, he just wasn’t throwing his punches with conviction.
Vince Parra – He needs to be moved faster and that is why we are jumping in their with a guy like Charles Huerta and from here we only go up, its about quality not quantity.
SDFights – Is featherweight Aarons ideal weight in your opinion and do you expect that’s where he’ll stay?
Bumpy Parra – To me he is kind of small for a featherweight, I was thinking he could make super bantamweight.
Vince Parra – This fight [Huerta] will be a good test because the weight limit is 124lbs.
SDFights – How long before Aaron is ready for a title shot?
Bumpy Parra – You know we have to see what he’s going to do in this next performance, those are the things that are going to tell us and he has the desire and the ability, it’s just a matter of how bad he wants it.
SDFights – So I guess you guys have a lot of questions yourselves and this fight is going to answer a lot of those questions.
Bumpy Parra – Yes it is..
Vince Parra – For us and for him.
Before talking with Aaron, I watched him work the gloves with Vince Parra under the watchful eye of Bumpy Parra who called out instructions when he saw fit. Aaron moved around the ring well with good reflexes, firing off combinations to the head and body, so while the actual fight is another beast in itself, Aaron looked sharp and well conditioned. Aaron Garcia is a 28-year-old former prospect who is hungry with lots of raw talent, who just needs the right personnel around him, communicating and guiding him through the facets of the professional level of boxing. The new collaboration of Aaron, Bumpy and Vince could be just the spark Garcia was looking for when he picked up the phone to call his old buddy for a helping hand. Only time will tell if this father who has seen his ups and downs in the sport his father taught him to love, has what it takes to reach out and grasp his dreams. No matter what, Aaron has the love and support of his family and will fight to secure that wish.