RAPID CITY, So. Dak. — If there is big time boxing going on, it’s almost certain that Team G won’t be far away from it.
Rawlins’ independent boxing team took to the Regional Junior Olympic Tournament in Rapid City last weekend.
Team G — G standing for Garcia — is widely known for its triplets, Jackie, Monica and Lizbeth Garcia, but they may have to make room for their younger brother, Aiden.
Jackie and Monica get free passes to nationals going uncontested at regionals. Both placed second at the Western Elite Qualifier & Regional Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. earlier in the season, already proving they belong.
While they had no blockades in their way to get to nationals, their father and coach, Cesar, wouldn’t allow them to take a trip without getting some work in.
Jackie defeated Liberty Meth (Rapid City) by unanimous decision in the 15- and 16-year-old, 105-pound class. Monica lost her bout in a split decision to Mamie Kennedy (Browning, Mont.) fighting in 110-pound class for 14- and 15-year-olds.
Lizbeth is taking a break from boxing, but Aiden is just getting started.
The newest member of Team G beat Jesus Villarreal (Billings, Mont.) in a split decision to earn his way to his first national tournament.
“He’s coming along,” his father said. “He won his last six bouts.”
What impresses Cesar the most about his son is that he’s continuously working and doesn’t have to be forced to want to get better. He doesn’t take a loss as setbacks, but a reason to comeback. It’s why he’s been so successful recently.
“He came out (on top) the last six bouts and makes it look easy because of his experience,” Cesar said.
The oldest member of Team G, Allen Ferrales, his chance to join his other teammates at nationals was ended in a split decision by Lance St. Germaine (Wolf Point, Mont.) in the first day of action.
Ferrales is a talented fighter, who his coach believes deserves to go to nationals.
“One judge would’ve sent him down to nationals,” Cesar said. “He would’ve been a tough competitor down there.”
Ferrales’ national aspirations aren’t completely thwarted.
He will fight in the Elite and Youth National Championships & Junior and Prep Open in Salt Lake City in December, and he wouldn’t leave Rapid City without showing he deserved to be there.
Moving up a few pounds from the 125-pound class he fought in on day one, Ferrales beat Chad Thompson (Rapid City) by unanimous decision on day two of regionals in the 132-pound, 15- and 16-year-old class.
Aiden, Jackie and Monica have a quick turnaround to prepare for nationals. Cesar said the level of competition with boxers coming from not just the region, but the south and east coast, will bring out talent they’ve never seen before.
“You got kids moving around like Mayweather (down there),” he said.
It will be a brand new experience for Aiden boxing in his first nationals, but this is not Jackie and Monica’s first go around in a national tournament.
If they want to improve upon their past results, Cesar said they’ll need to fight harder than they ever had before.
“They need to start getting really aggressive — going after your opponent and punishing them,” he said.
They will have a chance to display that aggression at the Junior Olympics, Prep Nationals and Youth Open on June 24 in Charleston, W.V.