Young Eduardo wanted to box professionally. He believed he could. For a while he even trained in Guadalajara; a gym named Azteca. But even though it’s often considered a poor man’s sport, boxing was too much of a luxury for him.
“In el rancho, there was no way to support me boxing,” Eduardo, patriarch of the Garcia family, says in Spanish. Always in Spanish. “My father and mother, we were all very poor.”
His dreams all but dead, Eduardo had to contend himself fighting amateur bouts organized by a local priest in his Michoacán home. Eventually, Eduardo moved to the United States. He had children.
“When I came over here, I began to train my kids,” he recalls. “And the first champion was Roberto.”
After Robert came Fernando Vargas. And after Vargas came Mikey, the youngest of his children. He trained them to world championships while working as a produce picker in Oxnard, California. “I learned it because I loved it,” Eduardo says of boxing. “I asked questions and watched.”
Decades ago, Eduardo realized his professional boxing career had to end before it even began. Today, he’s a grandfatherly figure with slicked back, thinning gray hair. His neatly trimmed mustache is the same color. Eduardo is a few days away from watching his youngest son attempt what some see as improbable: move up in weight to beat Errol Spence Jr. and crown himself a welterweight champion.
A few days away but until then, he watches as fans, waving Mexican flags, gloves, and pictures, yell out to his sons, and even grandson, for autographs and pictures. He hardly speaks, sometimes you barely see him. “Big G!” some will yell towards him. They ask him for a signature. They even ask him—the abuelo who wanted to box professionally but never did— if they can have a picture.