This Friday, May 24th, emanating from the famous Bing Crosby Hall at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, San Diego’s foremost boxing promotion, Bobby D. Presents, makes its debut at the historic venue staging the homecoming of San Diego’s Aaron “Gavilan” Garcia (10-3-2), versus Ensenada, Mexico’s Cesar “Mayu” Garcia (8-13-1, 4KOs) in the evening’s six round featherweight main event. Friday’s event will be the first of seven monthly BDP shows scheduled at the fairgrounds this year and as an added benefit, fans will receive one FREE 2013 San Diego County Fair admission ticket with every boxing ticket purchased, a value of $14.
In the co-feature, making his debut in “America’s Finest City”, undefeated southpaw Leon “Third Generation” Spinks III (4-0-1, 3KOs), of Los Angeles by way of St. Louis, will face Mexico’s Alejandro Ochoa (1-3-1), in a four round lightweight bout. Recently added to DePhilippis’ BDP stable, Spinks III is the grandson of former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks, great- nephew of former world champion Michael Spinks and nephew of former world champion Cory Spinks. Leon comes from a pedigree of winners and is poised to add another successful chapter to the legacy.
Friday will also see the San Diego debut of Filipino southpaw Anecito “Dondon” Gesta Jr. (2-1), of San Diego by way of Cebu, Philippines, versus Los Angeles’ Kenny McClain – making his pro debut – in a four round super featherweight bout. Dondon is the younger brother of former world title challenger and junior welterweight contender Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta – who returns to the ring in July to face Ajose Olusegun. Like Mercito, “Dondon” is well-schooled in the arts of fighting and prepared to demonstrate what he can do with his fists come Friday night.
Garcia, 30, of Vista, CA, is a former U.S. Amateur champion, amassing accolades such as the 99′ National Golden Gloves featherweight title, 03′ United States amateur featherweight championship, 03′ Pan-American Games silver medal and a U.S. Olympic team alternate and is focused on making good on his potential in the paid ranks.
Garcia had an up-and-down 2011 and hasn’t fought since October of that year when he lost a debated and heated affair to Filipino slugger Bernabe Concepcion by split-decision by scores of 94-96, 94-96 and 97-93 on a Manny Pacquiao promoted card at the San Manuel Indian Casino in Highland, CA.
In April ’11, Garcia traveled to enemy territory to challenge undefeated Thompson Boxing Promotions’ Abraham Lopez and the two chucked leather for eight rounds of pure boxing entertainment. When the smoked cleared the decision went to the hometown fighter, Lopez, in a close fight, that this writer had Garcia winning while scoring from ringside. The final scores were 74-78, 75-77 and 76-76.
Two months before that, in February 11′, Garcia stepped up to face once-beaten and highly regarded prospect Alejandro Lopez at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and won a majority-decision by scores of 39-37, 39-37 and 38-38.
For just coming back after a two year layoff in ’09 and ’10, Garcia embarked on a very ambitious schedule against opponents with a combined record of 62-6-1 and didn’t disappoint. Garcia gave foes and fans everything they could handle while arguably winning all three battles. The scars that boxing leaves behind sometimes run deep and the losses have left a chip on the shoulder of “El Gavilan” but once again his warrior spirit has been aroused with the express purpose of getting back on track.
I caught up with Aaron recently and asked him whether he believes he won the controversial bouts versus Abe Lopez and Bernabe Concepcion.
“Most definitely, I know it and the people know it,” asserted Garcia, adding, “it was hard, the losses, but it is what it is. Like I told [trainer] Vince [Parra], I feel like I haven’t lost. So there’s no way I should be quitting, I haven’t lost in my heart, or in my head. I feel good and I’m back at it again.”
When asked whether he was going to launch the same ambitious schedule in this latest comeback, as the aggressively advancing 2011 campaign, this is what Garcia had to say.
“Maybe one or two tune-ups just to get the cobwebs out. Other than that, we want to get out there and fight the best. We’re going straight to the top again.”
What to expect on Friday night at the Del Mar Fairgrounds?
“It’s going to be a good, exciting fight, like every fight I’m in. People always get their money’s worth. We fight very hard and we train very hard. It’s going to be an exciting night for the crowd come Friday night,” promised Garcia, adding, “I would like to thank Bobby DePhilippis and Bobby D. Presents for allowing me the opportunity to resurrect my career in my hometown of San Diego and look forward to working together in the future while always striving for the top.”
What can be said for the way Garcia scraps other than he likes to bang and gives the fans exactly what they come for, win or lose. Garcia is entirely adept at going toe-to-toe and his Mexican machismo bleeds through in his fighting style. He has a solid chin and big balls which allows for his entertaining and fan-friendly work habits. Garcia also possesses the pedigree to box with technical superiority over many of his peers should he choose to do so. Garcia may be better-served to tap into some of those natural abilities and show a little more versatility.
Aaron knows the geometry of using angles and timing which when coupled with patience and focus will keep his opponents guessing. Garcia’s amateur career was nothing to sneeze at as he conquered the likes of Timothy Bradley, Brandon Rios, Rocky Juarez and Vincente Escobedo just to name a few.
Like they say, ‘when all else fails, fresh tactics.’
All that said, Aaron Garcia is a throwback fighter and only knows how to behave like so.
An entertaining main event come Friday night you ask?
Consider it written in stone.
The five-bout card slated for the Del Mar Fairgrounds is located at 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. For information or tickets, please visit SanDiegoFights.com. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the first punch thrown at 7:30 p.m.