In a poignant moment on a recent 24/7 episode promoting the Victor Ortiz-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight, Ortiz’s trainer, Danny Garcia, shared his feelings about his strained relationship with younger brother Robert and other family members.
“In 2007,“ said the narrator of HBO’s series, “Danny Garcia agreed to step in as Victor’s trainer even though his family considered the change a betrayal and reacted accordingly.”
That set up Danny Garcia’s response.
“For three years, my dad, my brother and my whole family, they got mad,” said Garcia, staring into the HBO camera. “I don’t know why they got so mad. I love my brother. I don’t know if he loves me.”
Robert Garcia was watching from his home in Oxnard, Calif., where he shares a back yard with Danny but hasn’t spoken to him for years.
The brothers are involved in an ongoing, jealousy-laced blood feud that has caused deep wounds within their immediate family and beyond, a reality that boiled over when they confronted one another last week over separate online videos in which they were critical of one another and their fighters.
Robert Garcia said there is far more to the story than viewers saw on 24/7 but declined to elaborate.
“We were all watching it together,” said Robert Garcia. “My sisters, other people, we were all at my house watching it. … Everybody saw a sad story, but when HBO is recording and they put the show up, they’re going to make it a sad story. I know this because we’ve had 24/7 in our camp before.
“I don’t know if my brother mentioned the reasons why the family got mad and they just didn’t put them up, but we had really good reasons to be upset. Otherwise, why would my mom, my dad, my sisters and everybody be upset at Victor and Danny for what happened? There are very good reasons.”
The feud began over Ortiz, who worked with Robert Garcia from the time he was a promising 16-year-old amateur through the first four years of his pro career. Robert Garcia trained now-WBC lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios at the same time until Rios and Ortiz developed an adversarial relationship, prompting Ortiz to leave Robert Garcia for Danny Garcia.
Ortiz also left Top Rank, Inc., which still promotes Rios, and signed with current promoter Golden Boy Promotions. Beyond the move by Ortiz, neither brother would explain the rift.
“But a lot happened, and that’s what hurt my parents, my sisters, my younger brother and the rest of our cousins in the family the most. I don’t know why Victor and Danny would act like they’re the victims when it’s my parents. It’s my dad, my mom, my sisters, my brother Mikey,” said Robert Garcia.
“Even my really close cousins here in Oxnard are upset. So why are they all upset at Victor and Danny? It’s because they’ve all seen what happened and they all know how everything went down. Everybody sees the same thing. The only person who doesn’t see it is Danny.”
But things were not always this way.
“Growing up, Danny used to always be the first person to jump in front of me and to defend me, whether it was related to boxing or outside of boxing,” said Robert Garcia. “It could be street fights or whatever, but my brother Danny was always the first one to jump in and defend me.”
Danny Garcia once even trained Robert Garcia when the younger sibling was 13. Danny also assisted their father, Eduardo Garcia, in Robert’s corner during the latter’s professional career. Robert Garcia (35-3, 25 knockouts) won the IBF junior lightweight title. Now, Robert and Eduardo Garcia train younger brother Mikey Garcia, an unbeaten featherweight contender.
Danny Garcia admits missing the intimacy that his relatives enjoy.
“I’m talking to my dad. I’m talking to my mom. I’m talking to my little brother, my young brother Mikey,” said Danny Garcia. “But I haven’t talked to Robert. Not yet. But maybe in the future, you know?”
The incident last week wasn’t a step in that direction. Danny insulted Rios, Robert did the same to Ortiz and Danny ended up on Robert’s doorstep. Police had to be called to calm things down.
Ortiz has a date with Mayweather Jr.on Sept. 17. After that, said Danny Garcia, there may be time for reconciliation.
“Robert is my brother, but like I said, I’m going to have to wait until the fight’s over because I don’t want nothing to bother me. I like to stay focused on my fighter, and my fighter has a really tough fight. So I’ll probably do it later after the fight,” said Danny Garcia.
“We’re talking and we hoping that it will turn out good, and that’s what I’m hoping. I like my family. I love my family. My dad, my mom, my sisters, my brothers, everybody. I would like it to be good with everybody.”
Robert Garcia agrees.
“If we were to talk right now, I think that it would be worse for my brother to even try to make peace because I don’t think that his camp — Ortiz and his people — would be ready for it,” said Robert Garcia.
“I don’t think that my brother would even want to right now. We’re brothers. So maybe later, because I truly believe that blood is thicker than anything else.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org