Cathal Noonan
Forgotten Man

Unbeaten and supremely talented 'Cork Cuban' to make boxing comeback in Ireland

Luis Garcia, still just 31, will have one last crack at the bigtime under Irish management team Assassin Boxing.

UNDEFEATED ‘CORK CUBAN’ boxer Luis Garcia will return from the wilderness and relaunch his once-promising career with Irish boxing management company Assassin Boxing.

‘El Leon’, 15-0 with 12 knockouts and still just 31, will return to the ring on Ray Moylette’s undercard in Castlebar on 7 December.

Garcia, one of three Cuban boxers alongside Mike ‘The Rebel’ Perez and Alexei ‘Hurricane’ Collado to defect to Leeside just over a decade ago, has seen a plethora of management and personal issues put paid to any significant career progress: he has fought three times in the last three years following a four-year stint out of the ring.

However, the slick-moving boxer-puncher is now teaming up with Assassin on a new management deal with the aim of fighting five times over the next 12 months as he takes one last stab at doing right by his extravagant pugilistic talents.

Garcia remains under a promotional contract with Lou DiBella and DiBella Entertainment who have continued to make attempts at advancing the Cuban’s career in recent years. Assassin have taken the reins merely in a managerial capacity on this side of the pond.

Alexei Acosta, Mike Perez and Luis Garcia Donall Farmer / INPHO The Cork Cubans: Luis Garcia (L), Mike Perez and Alexei Collado (R) posing inside a shipping container in 2010 Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Garcia will return as a cruiserweight (190lbs) in December but over the course of his five contracted fights, aims to pare himself down to the 175-pound light-heavyweight limit.

El León has an Irish family who remained on these shores as he attempted to kickstart his career from an apartment in Queens, New York over the course of the last three years. He returned to Ireland last summer and currently lives with his wife and children in Limerick, where he works full-time hours.

In June, he indicated on his personal Facebook page that he had retired from boxing after a torturous seven years plagued by contractual disputes and cancelled fights.

Garcia, who fought nine times in Ireland between 2008 and 2010, posted footage of him flattening a sparring partner along with the caption ‘retired but not forgotten.’

Having earned his third straight first-round knockout Stateside in the summer of 2017, Garcia will aim to remind the many who did forget him of his prodigious ability when he steps through the ropes at Castlebar’s Royal Theatre in the lead-up to Christmas.

Assassin have assigned to him a personal trainer and nutritionist in a bid to recondition the Cuban for the professional ranks, and have one eye on his potential entry into the prospective World Boxing Super Series light-heavyweight edition should it come to fruition as expected in the latter half of 2019.

Garcia was a Junior world amateur champion before defecting to Cork in order to turn professional. He later became chief sparring partner to former unified super-middleweight world champion Carl Froch, who waxed lyrical of his ability in his 2014 autobiography.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Luis Garcia has signed a ‘promotional deal’ with Assassin Boxing. Garcia remains under promotional contract with DiBella Entertainment, and has signed a management contract with Assassin Boxing.

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