I’ve seen many trainers (and that
includes in Philadelphia where I cover) get credit for doing little.
“Throw a towel over his shoulder and he thinks he’s a trainer”!
I’ve been around some great ones like George Benton, Wesley
Mouzon, and when Eddie Futch and Manny Steward came in to work with
Philly boxers. The latter with one of my own, Bruce “Sugar”
Williams for an ESPN tourney. Some trainers come in on their
boxer-son’s coat tails and after a loss or two even get dumped by
their sons. Look at Jack Mosley and Floyd Mayweather, Sr!
Sometimes they are even brought back as the trainer.
There’s something behind the
“madness” of Danny “Swift” Garica’s father-trainer Angel
Garcia. I have witnessed him at amateur shows like the PA Golden
Gloves at Front Street Gym in the Frankford section of Philly. He
may be sitting with his lovely wife Maritza and beautiful twin
daughters Sianney and Angelise or working the corner of his many
amateur’s along with his other son Eric.
Dave Ruff, a
fellow writer here at Doghouse Boxing and I went to
the DSG gym at Jasper and Castor. Ruff being from DE never met
Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins and wanted to meet him. I
forewarned him that Hop usually has closed training sessions” and
that was the case upon my arrival. I returned to the parking lot and
got Ruff out and into his wheel chair and inside the detail garage
Over came Danny and I introduced him to
Ruff. Danny can make a person feel like a million bucks if he wants
to and Ruff really felt that way at the time. He went off to get a
marker to sign a picture I had of him, his father and myself. Then
Angel came over with the signed picture and talked to Ruff and I.
Even though he was busy on the phone as we left Angel put out his
hand to shake mine as we left. I have had nothing but respect from
the Garcia’s. Earlier I asked Angel if he would do a Q&A with
me and he said “sure”.
One of the many boxers in the gym
recently was Edgar “White” Flores. A good looking 24-year old
who was shadow boxing in the ring. When asked about Angel and Danny
he had something interesting to say. “He was my friend first
before he started training me for a year. He then has trained me for
the past 7 years. He is an all around good guy. He speaks what’s
on his mind,” said Flores. He added, “there is no one like
Danny. He’s always there for you even though he doesn’t say
much,” said Flores.
The gym itself is really nice with a
red floor, blue walls and a white ceiling and an American and Puerto
Rican Flag hanging in front of a mural with some of the better known
PR fighters of the past and one lone non PR in Hopkins.
Unfortunately my all time favorite boxer who happened to be from PR,
lightweight and light welterweight champion Carlos Ortiz was not
among them. Of course there was “Tito” Trinidad, Hector “Macho”
Camacho, Wilfredo Benitez and Garcia several times. There is also a
barber shop, custom auto detailing and a recording studio. They took
this abandoned property and improved the area 100%.
KEN HISSNER: I have never seen your
son Danny disrespect you knowing you are “on target” to pronounce
how good he is and see how he has that look in eye’s as to say
“tell him pop”!
ANGEL GARCIA: We have a good father
and son relationship.
KEN HISSNER: I once asked Danny if
Bernard Hopkins was responsible for him signing with Golden Boy and
he said he wasn’t. The way Hop hung onto Danny after his last
fight I could see they seem very close. Who was responsible if Hop
wasn’t in signing Danny to Golden Boy?
ANGEL GARCIA: It was Shelly Finkel who
got Danny signed with Golden Boy.
KEN HISSNER: Will Danny stay at 140 or
move up in his next fight?
ANGEL GARCIA: As long as Danny doesn’t
have to kill himself to make 140 he will stay at that weight. When
he does move up he will move up slow and go to 142-144 before
challenging for a title at 147.
KEN HISSNER: I noticed when Philly’s
Hank Lundy entered the ring for his fight with Raymundo Beltran in
Atlantic City last year Danny followed as one in the entourage right
to the ring apron. I thought “it’s a shame Danny can’t do the
fighting for him” as Beltran spoiled what was to be a big pay day
for Lundy in his next fight. But it was Beltran who recently got a
disputed draw fighting for the world title in South Africa and not
Lundy. I was told on Lundy’s facebook he is saying how he would
like to fight Danny. We all know there is no quieting Lundy but do
you think he’s just looking for a pay day on Danny’s back or he
is really seriously disrespecting Danny?
ANGEL GARCIA: Hank has to do what
Danny did by beating the top contenders and earn a title bout.
KEN HISSNER: Who have been some of
your past and current amateurs at this time?
ANGEL GARCIA: I trained southpaw Luis
“Smurf” Esquilin who became PA state GG champion but he moved
onto someone else as a professional. (Esquilin is 2-6-1 as a pro and
put in with mostly tough opponents) Edgar “White” Flores is back
in the gym and I hope he sticks to it this time. (I encouraged him to
do so because at 24 he will be 30 and hope he dedicated himself
KEN HISSNER: You seem to have a really
tight knit family here and at the shows in the amateurs I’ve seen
you at. Do you feel it is important for Danny’s career to have
that kind of support around him?
ANGEL GARCIA: It’s most important.
KEN HISSNER: Will we see you at the
Briscoe Awards Sunday since Danny is getting the Fighter of the Year
award for the second straight year?
ANGEL GARCIA: No, we will be leaving
for Peru Sunday for the WBA Convention.
KEN HISSNER: I want to thank you for
taking the time as you always have in the past and say thanks for you
and Danny being so respectful in going out of your way on a recent
visit with fellow writer Dave Ruff.
ANGEL GARCIA: I look forward to
reading the article.