After nearly roughly 70 years in the sport of boxing, longtime cutman Rafael Garcia has passed away at 88, shortly after being diagnosed with leukemia as reported by RingTV. Garcia has been one of the most recognizable figures in the sport of boxing over the years, as you could always spot him by his trademark hat littered with pins.
That aside, Garcia was perhaps best known for his work with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in recent years, serving as his cutman and hand wrap guy, despite working with many other fighters during his long tenure in the sport — which included the likes of Alexis Arguello, Roberto Duran, and Wilfredo Gomez, just to name a few.
Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, describes Garcia as a man who took a tremendous amount of pride in being the person Mayweather trusted most to wrap his oft-injured hands, and says that Garcia and Mayweather had a close-knit relationship, so he was obviously devastated by the news of his passing.
“Floyd was very close to him — Floyd referred to him as his grandfather and Floyd loved him like that and took care of him like that. Floyd completely changed his life from a financial standpoint and lifted him and his family. He was able to make good investments and able to make trips with his family.”
“He didn’t want no one to get anywhere near (Floyd’s) hands,” Ellerbe said. “He was a legend in the sport and he will definitely be missed by everyone and everyone he came in contact with, he made them have a lasting memory of him.”
Garcia was inducted in the the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame just this past August, which was arguably long overdue, but more importantly we extended our prayers and best wishes to the family and friends of Rafael Garcia. He touched a lot of lives during the course of his lifetime and I’ve never heard one bad word uttered the man. In a sport that can be as down and dirty as boxing, that alone speaks volumes.