When boxing fans talk about fighters from California, at times they only refer to those who reside in the southern part of that state. That's not fair to the Bay Area, which consists of San Francisco and Oakland, and has produced some world champs like Andre “SOG” Ward in more recent years.
Anthony Garnica (5-0) is a fighter signed to Golden Boy Promotions and at the young age of 20, is looking to make his mark in the sport and win a world title in the future.
I have seen Garnica fight while being ringside and I think it’s time everyone gets to know him a little more.
AG: Anthony, thanks for taking the time to do this interview, as I know it is fight week for you. Can you give the readers a quick bio blast on where you are from and how it was growing up?
Garnica: I am from Oakland, CA. My parents are both Mexican and I have three brothers and a little sister. Growing up in Oakland was rough. I used to catch the bus with my brother to go to school and we would see some things going on in the streets. It was tough out there. I recently relocated to Los Angeles to live and train.
AG: What was your first exposure to the sport of boxing?
Garnica: When I was seven, my Dad who always had love for the sport, took me to the gym one time and I just stuck with it.
AG: When you started to get into boxing, who were some of the fighters you looked up to?
Garnica: When I was growing up, my dad used to make me watch old fights. He would put on fights by Oscar De La Hoya and Jorge Paez. Who I really looked up to was Oscar De La Hoya. At the time, I would watch all of his fights and keep up with him. He was the one that really motivated me because I wanted to get to that big stage.
AG: Going through the amateur system, were there any lessons learned throughout that experience?
Garnica: The weight cut and preparing for a fight was different. Going from amateur to pro is two different styles as you have to really sit down on your punches and really be on top of it.
AG: It is your first pro fight and you are in the locker room waiting to enter the ring. What were some of the thoughts going through your mind?
Garnica: I was staying calm as it was my first fight but was a little nervous. I had never fought without headgear so all I was thinking to myself was “don’t get hit.” Everything went well that night and I got the victory.
AG: I saw a video on the internet where you mentioned about being the roommate of former Unified Heavyweight Champion Andy Ruiz. Can you tell the readers what that was like and did you learn anything from that experience?
Garnica: I met him two years ago when I first came out to L.A. I ended up moving into the same house he was in and we just clicked. He became a big brother to me and would always look out for me. Andy would give me advice and show me a few boxing things. He would always look out for me.
AG: Were there any stories that you care to share?
Garnica: Man, there are so many because Andy is one funny guy. One time, we were driving to the beach and I was on my phone. Andy was driving and he saw someone pushing a car and he tells me, “Hey, go help push that car” and I was like, “What do you mean? You're like 200 pounds, you should do it” (laughs) so we ended up parking the care and we both ended up helping the guy.
AG: So this Thursday you are fighting in Phoenix against Travon Lawson. What do you know about your opponent?
Garnica: I just know his record and his name right now. I’ve been in the gym working so everything I have been working on, I will show on fight night.
AG: Where can fans watch the fight this Thursday night?
Garnica: The fight will be streamed on ironboyboxing.com.
AG: For the fans that are tuning in, what can they expect from you and where can they follow you on social media?
Garnica: They can expect a lot of movement, jabs, footwork. I have just been working on my craft and I’m going to put it all together. You can follow me on Instagram @anthony_garnica .
My Three Cents:
I have seen Anthony Garnica fight while working an event. He does indeed have the speed and skills to make some noise in the featherweight division. Only time will tell if Manny Robles will be able to turn this young prospect into a world champion. For now though, put him on your radar to watch for 2021.