Robert Garcia and his older brother, Danny Garcia, respected trainers of champion fighters, appear to have taken steps to thaw what has been a fiery, bitter jealousy-laced blood feud that has existed for years, according to Robert Garcia, referring to a meeting that happened within the past two months.
“Everything’s good with my brother. We met at a park and we hugged and we kissed and we talked. I remember what my brother said to me. He looked at me and he came up to me and he said, ‘you’re my little brother,’ and he gave me a kiss. I also love my brother,” said Robert Garcia, 37, who shares a back yard with Danny, 45, in Oxnard, Calif.
“It was not only me and Danny, but my sisters. Now that he also has some fighters, I have my fighters. I’m hardly home, and Danny was in Russia for like five weeks I believe, so he’s been busy and I haven’t seen him since. But, yeah, I don’t have anything against my brother. We’re a very close family, not only with my brother and my sisters and my parents.”
The brothers had been estranged for years because of a feud over ex-welterweight beltholder Victor Ortiz. Robert Garcia worked with Ortiz from the time he was a promising 16-year-old amateur through the first four years of his pro career.
He also trained ex-lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios during those years. However, Rios and Ortiz developed an adversarial relationship, and Ortiz left Robert Garcia for Danny Garcia. Ortiz also left Top Rank Inc., whom Rios still fights for, and signed with current promoter Golden Boy Promotions.
Danny Garcia once trained Robert Garcia when the younger brother was only 13. Danny also assisted their father, Eduardo Garcia, in the corner of Robert during the latter’s professional career. Robert Garcia (35-3, 25 KOs) won the IBF junior lightweight title.
The siblings’ had a highly-publicized incident at Robert’s home in August of last year which was calmed by police, although no arrests were made. But a few days later, the siblings expressed mutual desires to end their feud.
“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, during an interview with RingTV.com in late August.
“It could be street fights or whatever, but my brother Danny was always the first one to jump in and defend me…So maybe later, we can talk, because I truly believe that blood is thicker than anything else.”
Danny Garcia agreed.
“We’re talking and we hoping that it will turn out good, and that’s what I’m hoping,” said Danny Garcia in late August. “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.”
On Friday, Danny acknowledged having spoken to Robert, even as he said the relationship still is not fully repaired.
“One of these days, in the future, hopefully,” said Danny Garcia. “We might get together and start talking, but, it hasn’t happened like that yet.”
Still, there is hope.
“When my dad used to live in Oxnard, every Sunday, we had these get togethers at my Dad’s house with all of my sisters. Every Sunday, it was just something that we couldn’t miss,” said Robert Garcia, who also trains younger brother Miguel “Mikey” Garcia, an unbeaten featherweight contender, with Eduardo Garcia.
“We would barbecue and be together, me and my family. We had a few years where we weren’t together, and now, everybody knows the reasons. Now, hopefully, at least once in a while, with my Dad now living in Riverside, [Calif.,] we can go over there and do the same thing that we used to do.”
BROTHERS GUIDE TOP FIGHTERS
Robert Garcia has been pulling double-duty in preparing Rios (30-0-1, 22 KOs) for his junior welterweight debut opposite Mike Alvarado (33-0, 23 KOs), as well as IBF and WBO titleholder Nonito Donaire (29-1, 18 KOs) for a junior featherweight defense against Japan’s Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4-3, 24 KOs).
Rios and Donaire are part of an HBO-televised double-header that is slated for Oct. 13 at at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Although he and Ortiz have gone their separate ways, Danny Garcia trains heavyweight contender Magomed Abdusalamov, who is 16-0 with 16 knockouts.
RIOS PLANS TO DISPLAY HIS POWER AGAINST ALVARADO
Rios and Alvarado are known for their fierce, blood-and-guts approach to boxing, with Rios having won his past two bouts by 11th-round knockout of British contender Johnny Murray in December and controversial split-decision over Richard Abril in April.
On the Rios-Abril undercard, Alvarado overcame rugged Mauricio Herrera (18-2, 7 KOs) for a 10-round unanimous decision after having survived for a come-from-behind, 10th-round stoppage of Breidis Prescott on the November undercard the third fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.
In June, Rios suffered an injury to his right elbow and pulled out of a scheduled 140-pound bout with Herrera, having already failed to make the 135-pound lightweight limit for both fights against Murray and Abril.
Rios lost his WBA crown at the scales against Murray, and could not regain it as a result of his weight issues against Abril.
A deal was struck with the Murray camp in which Rios could weigh no greater than 10 pounds (147) more when he was checked at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday at his hotel. After Rios weighed 146.4 pounds on the morning of the fight, his bout with Murray was allowed to happen.
“I didn’t let my fans down. I don’t feel anything like that. If you can see the videos, I was trying to make weight. It would be a different story if I didn’t try to make weight and I came in heavy and looked heavy,” said Rios.
“But I did try to make my weight. In my last two fights I knew it was starting to get hard. I felt good in the fights but the weight was starting to get harder. I put that behind me and now I am ready for a new division.”
Rios says that he’s bringing his power with him.
“When I was 140 making 135 comfortably, I always had the power. I could have fought at 140 and had the power. Now I will be fighting at 140 and hitting like a 147-pounder,” said Rios.
“That power is going to follow me wherever I go. The power never leaves a fighter. I will be ready 10 percent, and the power will be there right with me.”
THOMAS DULORME, MIGUEL VAZQUEZ, KARIM MAYFIELD HIGHLIGHT HBO TRIPLE-HEADER
Puerto Rican welterweight Thomas Dulorme (16-0, 12 KOs), who is 22, will face his most difficult challenge as part of an HBO-televised triple-header on Oct. 27 opposite Luis Carlos Abregu (33-1, 27 KOs) at The Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, N.Y.
Abregu, 28, of Salta, Argentina, has scored four straight knockout victories since falling by unanimous decision to WBO beltholder Tim Bradley in July of 2010.
The last time Vazquez was in the ring was for a unanimous decision over Daniel Attah in June, which accounted for his 10th straight win during a run that includes three knockouts.
Quintero last suffered defeat against Attah, via second-round stoppage in November of 2010. Since then, however, the southpaw has scored five straight knockouts over as many consecutive victories.
Also on the card is San Francisco junior welterweight Karim Mayfield (16-0-1, 10 KOs), a 31-year-old whose opponent, Herrera (18-2, 7 KOs), of Lake Elsinore, Calif., is coming off April’s tough, unanimous decision loss to Alvarado that ended his five-bout winning streak.
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Photo by Miguel Salazar
Photo by Phil McCarten, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org