Javier “Pelo” Garcia, the decorated American welterweight, has died at the age of 30.
Garcia’s death was confirmed in a Twitter post from “Top Rank Boxing” host Crystina Poncher. Poncher tweeted on October 2, “RIP Javier “Pelos” Garcia 💔 Saying my prayers tonight for the entire Garcia family. Thanks for always making me laugh whenever I was in your presence Pelos. My heart goes out to your beautiful young children.”
Garcia is survived by his three children, Julian, Jaykob and Kimberly, as well his mother, Bertha, and brother, David aka Gordo. One online tribute to him read, “Pelos lived for his family, especially his kids, Julian, Jaykob and Kimberly. I’ll miss his friendship, his crazy sense of humor, and his infectious optimism. For the people who love him, my heart is with you. I can’t believe he’s gone. 😔”
According to Garcia’s Boxing Rec profile, he fought out of the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Oxnard, California, 70 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Robert Garcia was Garcia’s uncle. That profile says that Garcia was active between 2007 and 2013. In total, Garcia fought 15 bouts, winning 10, with nine knockouts, losing three and tying twice. Garcia’s first fight was a knockout victory over Nicholas Cadena at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. His last fight was in October 2013, a defeat against DeMarcus Corley.
In September 2007, when Garcia was 18 years old fought Jackson Bussell of Reno, Nevada, in a six-round fight in Calabasas, California. It was Garcia’s second fight and Bussell’s fourth. The fight went the distance, shortly after the final bell, Bussell collapsed and was rushed to Northridge Hospital where he was pronounced dead the following day. In a feature on Knotmove.com, Garcia said that he took a “long break,” not long after the Bussell fight. Following the tragedy, Garcia fought three times in 2008 before taking three years off and working at his uncle’s gym.
Garcia told Knot Move, “I think it helped me out really good because now I appreciate the sport more. I train harder. I went through my ups and downs like everybody else. I am just happy. Before when I stopped fighting I wasn’t happy anymore. That’s why I stopped. I took my time off. I helped Robert. Now I feel great.”
In that feature, it’s mentioned that Garcia’s other uncle, David, had been training with Victor Ortiz.
On his Instagram page, which was set to private that time of his death, Garcia writes, “Do Things With Passion Or Not At All.” Garcia had studied behavioral technology at California Lutheran University. Garcia notes his other interests as poetry and piano.