By Andre Courtemanche: It would appear on the surface that Houston super lightweight Daniel Garcia will be a huge underdog when takes on Puerto Rico’s Jesus Pabon (11-1, 8 KOs) at the Paragon Casino and Resort in Marksville, Louisiana, and live on ESPN2 this Friday, February 29..
But Garcia (9-4-1, 7 KOs) has a motivational speaker for a manager and doesn’t see the situation that way. “This is a step up for him just as much as for me,” he explains. “He hasn’t really been fighting top opposition until two fights ago. And then he fought somebody undefeated and lost. I’ve been fighting guys that are there to fight, but don’t have the skill that this guy has. It’s going to be good for both of us to see where we are with our careers.”
In fact, 29-year-old Garcia sees himself as a good match for Pabon in every way. “I know he was an amateur star out of Puerto Rico, but I had 256 amateur fights. I’ve been fighting since I was seven. He’s a typical Puerto Rican fighter, quick on his feet and a good boxer/puncher. I’m a boxer/puncher as well.”
Of his early start in the sport, Garcia says while he was growing up, boxing was mandatory. “In my family you start fighting when you are seven. You box until you’re 18. Then you can quit or keep going.”
It was during this rite of passage that Garcia befriended a couple of notable friends from his area. I train at all the same gyms as (four-time world title challenger) Rocky Juarez and (WBA, WBO and IBF Lightweight Champion) Juan Diaz. “We’ve sparred several times. We’re a tight-knit group (in Houston). It’s always positive to be around those guys. They’ll point out mistakes you’re making and then when you’re in the ring, you’ll realize what they meant and make the adjustments to what they were saying.”
He calls himself a “typical Hispanic fighter.”
“I was born in Austin and raised in Houston, but my family is From Tijuana. I like to fight inside. I like to try to diminish their power right away by throwing body shots. I have a good left hook to the body and head
Winning as often as losing over the first seven fights of his career, Garcia has gone 6-1 since teaming up with long-time Louisiana boxing figure and motivational coach/author Kerry Daigle of Keeppunching Entertainment.
“Kerry came into my life after I fought one of his undefeated fighters (Bobby Aucoin). In that fight, I dropped Aucoin and lost a very close decision, a fight I thought I won, along with many other fans. I wouldn’t fight again until I sat down with Mr. Daigle. I saw something in the way he handled his fighters. And here we are, I’m fighting in his stable. He’s led me in the right direction. I have nothing negative to say about Kerry. Typically guys have something negative to say about their managers, but Kerry has taught me well. He teaches you more about what to expect, professionally, as a fighter and about carrying yourself as a professional. He’s great at showing you how to weed out negativity and stay focused on boxing.”
Friday night, as the ESPN cameras roll, Puerto Rico’s Jesus Pabon will be looking for a victory. But the highly motivated Daniel Garcia thinks he’s a very live underdog in this fight with a big surprise in store for Pabon and everyone watching.
Therefore, he is.
Tickets are on sale now, priced at $100 Ringside (Limited Seating) and $40 (Reserved Stadium Seating) and can be obtained through www.ticketmaster.com or by calling the Paragon Casino Resort at 1.800.WIN.1.WIN.
For more information on the upcoming show, go to www.keeppunching.com. To visit the fabulous Paragon Casino go to www.paragoncasinoresort.com.
The Keeppunching Media, Publishing, and Promotional Companies, LLC
Kerry Daigle, President/CEO