It’s an exciting time in the life of featherweight Aaron “El Gavilan” Garcia (9-1-2, 2KOs), as he makes his awaited return to the proving ground known as the squared circle this Saturday Feb. 26th, in Las Vegas, NV, at the Palms Casino on the undercard of the Miguel Acosta vs. Brandon Rios Showtime telecast for the WBA championship title, promoted by Top Rank.
The Garcias have another reason to celebrate this special time as Aaron and his wife, who have a beautiful 2-year-old daughter, added another edition to the family last week when Aaron Jr. was born and I had the chance to talk with the new father whose joy exuded in his speech when we spoke.
“This is a new beginning for me and I thank God for that,” intoned Garcia. The 29-year-old added, “I’m feeling great right now, I have a great trainer in coach Parra and I’m anxious, everything feels so good right now and I’m ready to go.”
The good fortune continues to come Aaron’s way. Up until Thursday of last week, “El Gavilan” was scheduled to face Mexican Ramon Flores (3-10-2, 3KOs), on the undercard of stable mate WBO NABO Youth lightweight Champion Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta’s “Solo Boxeo Tecate,” main event in San Francisco, CA, at Longshoreman’s Hall. As luck would have it, Garcia got a call just before going to battle in the Bay area about an even bigger opportunity to perform under the bright lights of boxing’s fight capitol.
Aaron now steps up to face 23-year-old slick fisted Alejandro “Alex” Lopez (20-1, 7KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico, in an eight round featherweight contest. The chance to fight a guy with a 20-1 record as opposed to a stepping stone with a 3-10-2 resume speaks volumes in and of itself. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the stakes have just been significantly escalated concerning the comeback of Aaron Garcia and “The Hawk” wouldn’t have it any other way.
After a stellar amateur career that saw him collect many trinkets Garcia, of Vista, CA, [a suburb of San Diego, CA.] got his start in the paid ranks in 2004 under the Golden Boy Promotions banner. Aaron amassed a respectable 7-1 record before taking time away from the sport in 2006 due to promotional issues and a family that needed him.
He returned in 2008 but fought sparingly from the result of having trouble securing promotional support. In 2010 “El Gavilan” hooked up with a friend from his amateur day’s trainer/manager Vince Parra and Vince’s father, trainer Bumpy Parra, both former pros with a wealth of knowledge and experience. The best part of the union was the fact that all three men share San Diego, CA, as their home.
In the couple previous years Aaron had been traveling lengthy distances to train in Indio, CA, with the Diaz brothers. In a previous interview Aaron told me how much he enjoyed working with the Diaz’s and appreciated everything they shared and did for him but the traveling was tough and he couldn’t be happier to have an experienced team like the Parras behind him.
Top Rank and Zanfer Promotions is giving Aaron this opportunity and the appreciative featherweight who commits to a brutal body attack will be looking to make the most of his chance to show the boxing community why he was so highly touted as a prospect when he began his pro journey with Golden Boy.
Aaron Garcia is back on the scene wiser, stronger and rejuvenated. Those in that picture might want to take heed, before you know it this amateur extraordinaire may be knocking at your featherweight door.
During Aaron’s time away from the sport to beckon to the needs of a father and family man he got a 9 to 5 job while patiently waiting for his opportunity to arise and when I asked him whether he was still working a regular 40 hour-a-week job the answer revealed Aaron’s dedication to his comeback as well as the support system he has behind him.
“No, when I get into boxing I drop everything because this is what I love to do and I’m pretty good at it so I want to focus only on boxing. Luckily my family is behind me and thank God for my parents because they always support me,” enthused the featherweight.
Coach Parra traditionally takes Aaron’s team mate Mercito Gesta two hours north of San Diego to L.A.’s famous Wild Card Gym headed by the one and only Freddie Roach in the weeks prior to a fight to get quality sparring which is sometimes hard to come by in “America’s Finest City” and a little advice from the man himself coach Roach never hurt.
Aaron is along for the trip this time around and when I asked him how he liked training in Hollywood at the famed gym he answered, “We went up there for two weeks and the training was great. The different styles I got to spar with as well as other nationalities from all over. I sparred an African, a Russian and an Armenian and the atmosphere is great, nobody acts like they’re better than anyone else there.”
“El Gavilan” has summoned the hunger within himself to start over again, to finish what he started so long ago with his father and three brothers training in a garage while day dreaming of one day achieving greatness. Aaron’s in battle ready shape and on the hunt to quench his appetite.
This body punching paladin relayed to me that he doesn’t want to waste time and if it was up to him he’d be in the ring once a month in 2011. This tells me that “El Gavilan” is looking to immediately reclaim his property in prospectville with intentions of living there only a short time before moving out and into stardom.
The stars are aligned and Aaron Garcia has all his ducks in a row as he intends to mark his arrival in the featherweight division by welcoming Alejandro Lopez to a bruising night at the office.