Danny Garcia’s Dad Crosses the Line; Boxing Writers are All Steamed Up

ANGEL GARCIA, FATHER OF DANNY — It’s old news by now, but Angel Garcia’s vulgar diatribe last Wednesday at a press conference in Brooklyn has stoked up the boxing mediaverse. And with Garcia facing likely repercussions, this is a story that will undoubtedly have a long shelf life.

Garcia is the father and trainer of WBC welterweight titlist Danny Garcia. He spoke at the conference set up to promote his son’s unification fight with Keith Thurman at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on March 4. During his foul-mouthed rant, he splayed Thurman with the “N” word and made derogatory comments about gays and immigrants.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael and Yahoo’s Kevin Iole, arguably America’s most prominent boxing writers, were appalled. “It was the most despicable thing I have seen in nearly two decades of covering boxing,” said Rafael. Iole described Garcia’s behavior as “despicable” and “outrageous” while commending Keith Thurman for his self-restraint.

Mauricio Sulaiman, the head of the World Boxing Council, expressed his indignation with a self-serving statement that referenced the fact that for 19 years the WBC opposed apartheid by refusing to recognize South African boxers. “Boxing is a sport of contact, but it is a noble one and fighters are role models for the youth of the world with countless exemplary actions of fair play, respect, unity, humanity and brotherhood,” tacked on Sulaiman for good measure. (It’s ironic, in a way, to find Iole and Sulaiman on the same side. In 2006, when Mauricio’s late father Jose Sulaiman was named to the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Iole opined that this was the equivalent of appointing the famous gangster John Gotti to the U.S. Supreme Court.)

Angel Garcia crossed the line in Brooklyn, but trash talking in boxing is as old as the hills. In days of yore when booth fighters plied the fair circuit in England, most of their fights were with ringers planted in the audience. A mock rumble was invariably preceded by a shouting match; deprecations were hurled back and forth. As boxing became more regulated, fomenting a grudge remained a staple for whetting the public’s interest in an event.

This was hardly the first time that Danny Garcia’s father ruffled feathers with incendiary remarks. He equated Argentine-Americans with welfare cheats prior to Danny’s match with Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse and disparaged Pakistanis as retards prior to his son’s match with Amir Khan. He called Zab Judah’s father a crackhead, prompting Judah to label him a dopehead. But these putdowns were lobbed in a way that suggested his outrage was feigned; all for show. He seemed to be channeling Tyson Fury or, dare we say it, the young Muhammad Ali, rather than some inbred hate-monger. Writing in 2013, Orange County Register sports columnist Mark Whicker called Angel “the entertainment channel on the Garcia network.” (For someone born in Puerto Rico, his anti-foreigner rantings sure are perplexing.)

The co-promoters of the March 4 show, Lou DiBella and Al Haymon, aren’t going to allow Angel Garcia or anyone from either camp other than the fighters to sit on the dais for the final press conference for the March 4 fight. The New York State Athletic Commission is being pressured to turn Angel down when he applies to renew his boxing license, which would preclude him from working his son’s corner. Considering that Danny Garcia has never boxed, amateur or pro, without his dad in his corner, this could play hob with the odds, making Keith Thurman an even larger favorite (at last glance, Thurman was 5/2).

Regardless of where one stands on Angel Garcia’s fulminations, whether bemused or appalled or somewhere in between, one can fairly characterize his latest outburst as stupid. Sponsors with deep pockets are slowly drifting back to boxing. The Garcia-Thurman match, a juicy confrontation between undefeated title-holders, will be televised in primetime by CBS, a boon for the sport and a welcome development for boxing fans. But how long will major sponsors and major networks want to be associated with boxing when the sport is identified with folks like Angel Garcia?

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COMMENTS

-Kid Blast :

"ESPN?s Dan Rafael and Yahoo?s Kevin Iole, arguably America?s most prominent boxing writers,..." Iole absolutely. Rafael I think not. Among many other things, I will never forgive him for his diatribe against Angulo for "quitting" against Lara. See:
->http://www.espn.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/4312/perro-angulo-accepts-defeat Angulo's eye looked like it was coming out of its socket. As for Garcia, he is simply one of a number of emerging motor mouths in Boxing. Some say Angel Sanchez is becoming another. And Amir Khan is certainly one. But Garcia is ignorant and offensive even though what he is doing is simply hyping the fight to sell tickets. Anyone Danny fights becomes a mortal enemy of Angel and that says it all. He is a promoter-nothing more, nothing less, except that in his case, he HAS in fact crossed the racial line. Nevertheless, this is boxing. This is not a safe place for those who are too fragile. I don't support Angel's stupid comments whatsoever, but I DO think they have to be taken in the right kind of context and for a guy like Rafael to take umbrage is just a tad too sanctimonious for me. Kevin on the other hand is a thoughtful and sincere person who walks the walk and talks the talk. Boxing needs more like him IMHO.


-deepwater2 :

I mentioned it at the time, Angel sure looks like he is enjoying something he used to sell. He is embarrassing. He can jump up and down and say he is the champ, he can say the n word and gay slur and f the immigrants and get away with it. Good for him. I don't know of too many people that could talk that way at a public event and not get booed or arrested. His act is stale. His son is milking it way too much. The Puerto Rican experiment failed and Herrera beat Danny. Thurman should prevail by stoppage.


-ArneK. :

Always appreciate the feedback. KB, when I referenced Dan Rafael and Kevin Iole as the "most prominent," I didn't mean to suggest that they were the best, merely that they probably have the widest readership. A 2012 article in Deadspin called ESPN's Rafael "the most important boxing journalist in the world." Back then he supposedly had 70,000 followers on twitter. I've known Kevin a long time -- a solid pro, but I don't always agree with him either.


-Kid Blast :

Correct you are, Arnek. Rafael is one ( but just one) of the most arrogant writers I have ever had the misfortune of meeting. I could not believe his lack of humility. Just plain awful. He is just the opposite of the late Jack Obermayer. When I met him at Foxwoods I mentioned in passing that I wrote for Boxing.com. His reply, "never heard of them." Writers should never be the story. It's the boxers who allow writers to write.


-KO Digest :

I agree with TED. This is boxing, the sport of utter insanity. That kinda thing is part of the show, like it or not. I didn't like his rant but I don't want anything done about it. Or to Angel. His free speech requires the most protecting. This writer endorses his right to do it again if he wants to...


-Kid Blast :

I agree with TED. This is boxing, the sport of utter insanity. That kinda thing is part of the show, like it or not. I didn't like his rant but I don't want anything done about it. Or to Angel. His free speech requires the most protecting. This writer endorses his right to do it again if he wants to...
Hear hear


-oubobcat :

The action of Angel Garcia are simply inexcusable. His words and references made at the press conference were absolutely appalling. He is not a good representation of this sport. I know some are calling on the athletic commissions to do something and maybe they should. I actually am hoping Danny Garcia steps in and asks his father to step aside from his career beginning with the March 4th fight with Keith Thurman. KB, for the record I must say I had a quite different experience than you when I met Dan Rafael in December of 2015 at Turning Stone. Dan was quite pleasant and we had a nice chat about the upcoming show. I don't always agree with him but walked away from that brief meeting thinking very highly of him. I have read similar accounts though to what you stated and must admit I was a little hesitant to approach him. But glad I did as he was quite friendly to me that day.


-Domenic :

This guy was clearly hopped up on something, and disgraced his son, himself, and the sport. But freedom of speech prevails, to which I'll always defer. That said, I'd not be averse to someone knocking him out the next time he slings the 'N' word around so freely and repeatedly. It was an embarrassing display and completely cringeworthy. I'm not a Dan Rafael fan. I read him, simply because he has the ESPN platform, but to me he always comes off as a d***. He may be a great guy, but he conveys real cynicism and almost defensiveness in his prose.


-Kid Blast :

This guy was clearly hopped up on something, and disgraced his son, himself, and the sport. But freedom of speech prevails, to which I'll always defer. That said, I'd not be averse to someone knocking him out the next time he slings the 'N' word around so freely and repeatedly. It was an embarrassing display and completely cringeworthy. I'm not a Dan Rafael fan. I read him, simply because he has the ESPN platform, but to me he always comes off as a d***. He may be a great guy, but he conveys real cynicism and almost defensiveness in his prose.
My take on Rafael is that because of his --how shall we say--considerable girth, he deep down is jealous of the fighters most of whom are fit. I made this assumption when a few years back, he went after James Toney who was/is not exactly fit and ready. But more to the point, when I was a foot ball player back in the day, guys like Dan used to hang around the locker room and try to identify with the players. We had a special name for them, but I shall pass on that for fear of incurring the wrath of the moderator. That said, I will admit that he has a great platform from which he can communicate with his "boxing geeks." Yuk. And am I jealous? Why yes, I am.


-dino da vinci :

We lead the world in the quality of the written word as it pertains to boxing. Our frenemies, and our outright competitors have said as much over the years. We're a lot like the '27 Yankees, yes we're that deep. And yes, we do let the best of the best write anything they want. They've earned that. They've earned that by distancing themselves from the very good ones. The fact that we do not accept sponsorship allows us and our writers great freedom. Our journalists are respected professionals. They are able to express themselves and write their opinions and truths without restriction. We are not indebted or responsible to protect, defend, or support any group or individual. That said, yes. Yes, you can be a babbling maniac. No, you cannot be a vulgar babbling maniac.


-KO Digest :

The Yankees? I liken myself to a member of the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Another idiot.


-dino da vinci :

The Yankees? I liken myself to a member of the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Another idiot.
Just to be clear, who is an idiot and why?


-KO Digest :

The whole 2004 Boston Red Sox team. Known as "idiots" but they beat the Yankees and won the WS.


-dino da vinci :

Thx for the clarification.


-KO Digest :

Thx for the clarification.
Yes sir.