Boxing is pain. Chicago middleweight boxer Trinidad Garcia (5-3-3) knew that when he came out of retirement last August. But nothing compared to the pain he felt when his young son Jesiah was diagnosed with autism.
“A year before my son was diagnosed, he was able to talk to me. Can you imagine your son talking to you and then one day at two years old, he just leaves? I haven’t heard my son’s voice since and that was two years ago. When he was diagnosed, it was so hard because, as a father, to not be able to do anything to protect your kid, was the hardest part. I asked myself ‘what did I do? Did I do something wrong?’ That’s how it felt.”
Despite being out of the ring for more than six years, Garcia decided to fight back.
“I went to my son’s old school one day and I noticed they have computers. I said ‘Great you guys have computers. Technology is amazing for kids with Autism.’ I was told they don’t work, unfortunately. The reason I ended up fighting is that I don’t make enough money to buy the school new computers, but I could always box. I knew I could use boxing to raise some money and be able to buy the school some new technology. I came out of retirement last August and ended up buying ten iPads for the school and raising almost $6000.”
Garcia’s first fight back in August resulted in a draw with South Bend, Indiana’s Ramiro Bueno Jr. (2-3-1 1 KO). He will fight a five-round rematch with Bueno on Friday, December 6 at the UIC Pavilion on the undercard of the “World Championship Boxing: Wlodarczyk vs. Fragomeni 3” event, featuring WBC Cruiserweight Champion Krzysztof “Diablo” Wlodarczyk (48-2-1, 34 KOs) of Warsaw, Poland, making the sixth defense of his title against Milan, Italy’s former WBC Cruiserweight Champion Giacobbe “Gabibbo” Fragomeni (31-3-2, 12 KOs) and the return of Chicago’s Polish Prince, Andrzej Fonfara (25-2, 14 KOs) to face Colombian KO artist Samuel Miller (26-7, 23 KOs).
Tickets for “World Championship Boxing: Wlodarczyk vs. Fragomeni 3” are priced at VIP $201, VIP Ringside $151, Ringside $101, Box Mezzanine $76, Reserved Mezzanine $51, and General Admission $31 and can be purchased from Trinidad Garcia, 20% of the value of each ticket sold through Garcia will go to his special cause. Please call 773.946.3315 to purchase.
For this fight, Garcia has a new mission.
“My son was transferred to a special-needs school, Beard Elementary in Chicago, for mostly kids with Autism. When my son started going, I said what can I do? The principal, Manda Lukic, said we want to build a “Sensory” room. Sometimes children with autism freak out. They have meltdowns to the point where they can’t handle it. When you take them to this room, it’s padded and soothes them and brings them down to calmness. So I was like ok, how much? She told me and it’s a significant amount of money. Let me talk to Dominic Pesoli and see what I can do. All my ticket sales and sponsorships will go toward the construction of this room.”
Garcia says he’s getting back in with Bueno because, much like autism, he needs the victory before he can move on.
“I wanted to fight Bueno again because, to me and my camp, we know that we can win the fight. I was off for six years and I also hurt my right elbow in the first round of the fight, so this time with two good arms, I feel I will win easy.”
The 26-year-old also says he’s eternally grateful to his promoter, Dominic Pesoli of 8 Count Productions, for all the support he’s received.
“Dominic is a huge help to me. A year after my son was diagnosed, I lost my job, just like most people in this economy. I saw Dominic was opening up a gym, so I asked him if I could have a job being a trainer. I let him know that with all my son’s therapies, it was going to be hard to get a regular 9 to 5 job. He completely understood and gave me a job and I’m forever grateful for him for that. After about a year of working for him, I talked to him and asked him if I could fight on one of his shows. He hesitated at first, but he understood why I was fighting again, so he gave me an opportunity to be able to raise money for the school. That is just the kind of heart that he has.”
“World Championship Boxing: Wlodarczyk vs. Fragomeni 3” is being presented by Andrew Wasilewski and Piotr Werner of Ulrich Knockout Promotions, Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing and Dominic Pesoli of 8 Count Promotions.
For more information on Beard Elementary School, please visit: www.Beard.cps.k12.il.us.