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Death in the Ring: Remembering Boxer Jimmy Garcia

Updated on April 13, 2017

Safety is a Number One Priority

Safety should be the number one concern in the sport of boxing.
Safety should be the number one concern in the sport of boxing. | Source
Gabriel Ruelas seen here fighting Arturo Gatti was always haunted by the death of Jimmy Garcia.
Gabriel Ruelas seen here fighting Arturo Gatti was always haunted by the death of Jimmy Garcia. | Source

May 6, 1995: Gabriel Ruelas vs. Jimmy Garcia

May 6, 1995 was the pay per view where the main event was Oscar De La Hoya fighting IBF Lightweight champion Rafael Ruelas. De La Hoya won his bout by second round knockout. On the undercard, Super Featherweight Champion and the brother of Rafael Ruelas, Gabriel Ruelas was fighting boxer Jimmy Garcia. Tragedy struck and whoever witnessed it, live or on television, will never forget.

Garcia fought with absolute heart throughout the title fight with Ruelas but, he was just out skilled to say the least. As the bout progressed, it was obvious that Jimmy Garcia had too much heart, as well as too much will to say I have had enough but, he was getting pounded on. In my opinion his corner should have stopped the fight or at least if no on else the referee. Finally, the official did stop the fight and Jimmy Garcia died thirteen days later from brain injuries.

This boxing match was the first time I watched a live bout on television where the boxer ended up dying. I have heard stories about Doo-Koo Kim dying against Ray Mancini, Benny Kid Paret dying against Emile Griffith and a few others but, those were viewed on tape years after they happened. The Jimmy Garcia tragedy was hard to take in and it took me a while before I decided to continue watching the sport I love with all my heart. Prizefighting is a rough sport but providing measures to protect the boxers should be first and foremost on the minds of everyone. One thing is for sure. Jimmy Garcia put forth a brave effort and tried with all he had.

First and foremost, Rest in Peace Jimmy Garcia, a true warrior. You will be missed. It was hard watching the fight and I will not completely hash it out here, out of respect for Garcia and his family. He was a fine boxer and he will be missed by the sports fans around the world by those who have seen him ply his craft.

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Follow This Rule At All Times

Mouth Shields Protect The Jaw and The Teeth

Mouth guards help protect a boxers mouth during a boxing match.
Mouth guards help protect a boxers mouth during a boxing match. | Source

Safety in Boxing

There are so many ways in which boxing has really improved it's safety over the years but, there is always room for improvement in this dangerous sport. At one time, there was a doctor for each fight now they have a doctor in each corner during the contest. Also, cutmen repair cuts and swelling on the faces of the boxers during one minute breaks during fights.

It's better to stop a boxing match too soon rather than too late. Boxing matches are scheduled for twelve rounds for championship fights, rather than the fifteen like they used to be.

Mouthpieces, hand wraps, gloves and headgear are all used to help protect a fighter. The fact of the matter is, boxing is a contact sport and no matter what precautions are taken a boxer can still get hurt. Always bite down on your mouth guard while boxing to prevent a broken jaw.

The three knockdown rule is helpful to a degree but, if a boxer has an iron chin and will not fall, then that rule does no good. If a boxer is losing every round of a fight and he is getting hit with big hooks over and over then the official should stop the contest and let the boxer live to fight another day.

The standing eight count is a great way for the referee to evaluate a hurt boxer to see if he is fit to continue. I believe trainers, Doctors and referees need to watch closely, if a boxer takes several hard shots to make sure he is okay. These men/fighters are great warriors and I would hate to see any more fatalities in this great sport.

Safety Measures in Prizefighting

Standing 8 Count
Referee
3 knockdown rule
Mouthpiece
Groin Protector
Headgear
Protect yourself at all times
Mouthpiece
Good Defense
Good offense
Training
HandWraps
Here are some ways that boxing uses safety first.

Death and Boxing: Remembering The Fallen

Boxing Headgear

Headgear is used in amateur boxing and in sparring. Some say headgear in professional boxing could help cut down on ring deaths while others say it would only cut down the number of cuts a boxer receives in a bout.
Headgear is used in amateur boxing and in sparring. Some say headgear in professional boxing could help cut down on ring deaths while others say it would only cut down the number of cuts a boxer receives in a bout. | Source

Gabriel Ruelas and Jimmy Garcia Pose For The Media

Gabriel Ruelas and Jimmy Garcia (Far Right) pose for pictures prior to their bout which took place May 6, 1995.
Gabriel Ruelas and Jimmy Garcia (Far Right) pose for pictures prior to their bout which took place May 6, 1995. | Source

Boxing vs. NFL Football: Which is More Dangerous?

First of all this is a very real, very relevant issue that is going on today. The sport of football is starting to be recognized as a sport that is not to be taken lightly. Repeated blows to the head are serious whether in boxing or football. For some reason we have believed all of these years that the football players have been protected. The brain can't be fully protected by blows where the brain is jostled around.

Both sports can be very dangerous. Boxing has had more deaths but, it's been around longer than football as well. Plus, just recently, many illnesses are now being attributed to playing pro football. One thing is certain both sports are very rough and every and any idea that can help make these sports safer to participate in should at least be heard, listened to and even considered..

The NFL has been starting to institute new rules recently that are aimed at player safety and just maybe boxing needs to re-evaluate things to make them as safe as possible for the fighters and secondly the official that is involved. The safety of everyone involved should be the first priority.

How Many Rounds?


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The Ultimate Boxing Encyclopedia

Gabriel Ruelas Discusses That Horrific Night

Birthplace of Jimmy Garcia ( Columbia)

© 2013 Buster Johnson

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      T.M. 3 years ago

      BENNYthekidPARET VS EMILE GRIFFITH WAS INDEED TELEVISEDON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND IT RUINED THE SPORT AS FAR AS NETWORK TV,WHICH HAD RECENTLY BEEN DOING WELL W\BOXING. SPONSORS BAILED LIKECRAZY BOXING WAS THE PARIAH OF TV SPOTS REFEREE RUBY GOLDSTEIN WAS KNOWN FOR STOPPING FIGHTS,BUT HERE HE WAS OUT TO LUNCH (ALSO A DECENT FIGHTER HIMSELF, IN HIS TIME)

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