(San Diego, CA) – If there is one thing that featherweight Aaron “Gavilan” Garcia knows how to do is fight. After a quick incursion into the Asian art of karate, Garcia’s father, Celso, led Aaron, one of eight siblings, and his three brothers to boxing. At the tender age of eight, Garcia took to the sweet science like a fish to water and eventually became one of the most decorated amateur fighters to come out of San Diego County.
Known as a aggressive fighter with very solid skills and a high work rate, Aaron in over 150 amateur fights amassed a number of important accolades such as the bantamweight title in the 1999 National Golden Gloves, the featherweight title in the 2001 National Golden Gloves, the 2003 United States amateur featherweight championship and in the same year Garcia took the featherweight silver medal at the ’03 Pan-American Games. While he traveled the world competing in tournaments and as a U.S.A. Olympic team alternate, Garcia defeated a number of fighters who made a name in the pro ranks such as Vicente Escobedo, Francisco “Panchito” Bojado, Rocky Juarez and Brandon Rios among others.
In 2004 Garcia was one of the first signees of then upstart Golden Boy Promotions led by boxing superstar Oscar De La Hoya. Garcia made his professional debut on September 18th, 2004, with a unanimous decision over Gerardo Robles. Garcia quickly rattled off six more wins before being upset by Saul Ochoa on the under card of De La Hoya vs. Mayorga in May of ’06. After the loss, Garcia decided to take a hiatus from the ring to reassess his career and spend time with his growing family.
Aaron “Gavilan” Garcia Scores a Body Shot in his last fight Photo by Paul Gallegos
The happily married father of two came back in 2008 under the tutelage of renowned trainer Joel Diaz and fought four times going undefeated with wins over veteran Arturo Valenzuela and Gabe Garcia. After two closely disputed draws against then highly touted prospect Jesus “Pollo” Hernandez, some promotional/management issues and the toll of traveling from over a hundred miles to train with Diaz in the Imperial Valley, Garcia once again took a hiatus from the sport to recharge his batteries.
The burst to get back in the ring came from trainer/manager Vince Parra who in 2010 took the reins of Garcia’s career and training and has not let go since. The two of them along with Vince’s father, California state Hall of Famer “Bumpy” Parra, put together an impressive run sprinkled with bitter disappointments.
In his last three bouts, Garcia faced opponents with a combined record of 62-6-1. The first was world title challenger Alejandro “Alex” Lopez of Tijuana, Mexico, who Garcia defeated via unanimous decision on the under card of Brandon Rios vs Miguel Acosta championship fight. On the strength of that win, Garcia went after undefeated prospect Abraham Lopez. Unfortunately, Garcia fell to a hometown majority decision in Ontario, CA, in an eight rounder and in his last fight, Garcia dropped a split decision to Filipino up and coming contender Bernabe Concepcion. The ten round bout was for the vacant WBC Continental Americas featherweight title.
In the fight, Garcia suffered an injury that forced him out of the ring. Fully recovered and now under the Bobby D Presents banner, Aaron Garcia is ready to return on the road to a world titlte, a feat he feels is his destiny. “I would love to win a world title. 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. I believe I will be ready for it soon. I have the ability and pedigree to get in ther with the top dogs and give them hell.”
Carcia came back wiht a bang and put the boxing world on notice of his return. Not known for his knock out power, he opened some and forced some jaws to drop when after his hiatus he stopped the usual durable Cesar Garcia (no relation) in the first round back in May at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. With a determined look on his face, Aaron went after his prey and relentlessly punished Garcia of Ensenada, Mexico, to the body. Near the end of the first round, “Gavilan” scored a devastating body shot that left his opponent gasping for air. Cesar Garcia made it back to his corner at the sound of the bell but was unable to catch his breath in the alloted minute rest and the fight was called giving Aaron the TKO win.
In his next fight of 2013 and his last prior to tonight’s, Garcia went four quality rounds with Las Vegas workhorse Johnny Frazier last July. Originally slated to headline a fight card across the border in Tijuana, Garcia’s opponent fell out at the last minute and a quick match up was made by Bobby D. Frazier turned out to be no slouch as he was able to to survive the four rounds and take everything Garcia landed. Garcia came out unscathed and took the shut out unanimous decision with scores of 40-36 three times.
Since then and together with his trainer/manager Vince Parra and new stable mate Rolly Lunas, Garcia has been traveling all over the southwest including stops in Los Angeles and Las Vegas preparing for his next assignment, “that is what you have to do to be the best and I am ready for it, I am ready for the big time!”
The Crowne Plaza Hanalei Hotel is located at 2270 Hotel Circle North in San Diego. Tickets are still available at SanDiegoFights.com or by calling 619.420.8866. Doors open at 6:30 with the first punch thrown at 7:30pm.
“San Diego Fights” is proudly sponsored by Mossy Automotive Group, Filippi’s Pizza Grotto, Car Czar, Everlast, David G. Schmidt General Contractor, House of Boxing Gym and Boxing Fraternity Apparel and features the San Diego Bikini Dolls.