By Andrew Rosario
There have been some memorable boxing press conferences in the past where things get so heated between the fighters that they have to get separated by security and their own camps before punches would be thrown. Some punches do get thrown. Remember Mike Tyson biting Lennox Lewis taking a chunk out of his leg? Ricardo Mayorga tried to slap Fernando Vargas and the list goes on. What we witnessed on Wednesday, January 18th at the press conference to announce the fight between Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia (both undefeated) that will take place at Barclay Center on March 4th was unprecedented and unnecessary. It had nothing to do with the fighters.
“It’s a pleaseure to be here,” said Thurman as he was the first fighter to be introduced. “I must say this is where it’s at. I get the most love out here since the first time I ever fought here. It’s the fans of New York who make me feel like I made it, he continued. Thurman then praised Garcia before saying something that clearly did not sit well with Garcia’s trainer/dad Angel. “I applaud him and everything that he has accomplished in his career,” continued Thurman. “Most of his accomplishes were at 140 not 147. That’s why he’s stepping up trying to make a statement. The only problem is, he signed the wrong contract. Danny Garcia, you’re getting knocked out.” It set off the Elder Garcia who went on a vulgar rant dropping the N and F word as well anti-gay and homophobic slurs in the direction of Thurman and his camp. At one point, Security had to step in between both camps in order to make sure it didn’t escalate into a all out brawl. This was before the younger Garcia even had a chance to step up to the mic.
“I want to thank CBS, (as you could hear his dad mumble this is b..l s…t) I want to thank Al Haymon and all the fans in Brooklyn,” began Danny Garcia. “This will be my 6th fight at the Barclay Center. Come March 4th, i’m gonna be the unified champion again. At the end of the day, me and my father crazy Angel, we’re gonna come out with a great game plan.”
Angel Garcia continued his vulgar tirade as both fighters held separate interviews with the media much to the chagrin of promoter Louel Di Bella who said aferwards,”Angel Garcia won’t have the opportunity to do that again. He won’t have a microphone, nor should he after what he did.” The reaction didn’t stop there as the New York State Athletic commission released a statement about the incident. “The New York State Athletic Commission does not in any way condone or excuse Mr. Garcia’s words and actions,” the commission said in a statement given to ESPN.com. “Angel Garcia is not a licensee of the Commission and, therefore, is not subject to its jurisdiction at this time. In the event Mr. Garcia pursues a license with the State Athletic Commission, this incident and all relevant information will be reviewed and this matter would be revisited in that context.”
That’s when Angel Garcia’s actions may come back to haunt him. He has not applied for a license to serve as a trainer for the fight but will have to if he wants to be in his son’s corner when the bell rings. He will have to account for his actions that afternoon.
The fight will be televised on the CBS television network, free for all to see. One thing is for certain: One of the fighters will lose for the very first time.