Beloved boxing lifer Rafael Garcia dies at 88

From ESPN - November 14, 2017

Rafael Garcia, the always-smiling and beloved boxing lifer who worked as a trainer, cutman and hand-wrapper to some of the sport's biggest names, died on Tuesday due to complications from leukemia. He was 88.

Born in Mexico, Garcia worked in boxing for most of his life and spent recent decades living in Las Vegas, where he worked with numerous fighters.

But Garcia, instantly recognizable by the pin-adorned cap he always wore, became best known as the cutman and hand-wrapper for Floyd Mayweather. Garcia worked with Mayweather through most of Mayweather's career. Mayweather, whose brittle hands were always an issue, raved about Garcia's ability to wrap them in such a way that he was able to keep them protected as best as possible during his fights.

Garcia's health began to decline earlier this year after he was stung more than 100 times by a swarm of Africanized bees, according to former welterweight and junior welterweight world titleholder Jessie Vargas, who was Garcia's godson. Garcia later had a heart attack and was diagnosed with leukemia only about two weeks ago.

Vargas, who had Garcia as part of his team since he was an amateur, remembered him as a caring and loyal soul who always had fighters' best interest at heart.


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