Michigan's Johnny Garcia advances to second round of
National Golden Gloves tournament
by Jeff Chaney | The Grand Rapids Press
Tuesday May 06, 2008, 12:45 AM
Email Webmaster
Website By:
Racecol Web Solutions
GRAND RAPIDS -- Johnny Garcia isn't holding anything back. The 26-year-old Holland
fighter came out swinging and began his National Golden Gloves Tournament of
Champions in impressive fashion with a 5-0 decision over New Jersey's Dustin Fleischer in
their light welterweight bout Monday night at DeVos Place. "It's a great start, I got a win and
that's all that matters," Garcia said. "I felt good out there. I always come out fighting the
same way - I train hard and I fight hard." Garcia used a strong jab and powerful body
punches in forcing a standing eight-count in the second round. "I never felt hurt or felt in
trouble," Garcia said. "I just wanted to go out and fight hard. Jab and go to the body, that
was key." For Garcia, who starting boxing when he was 11, and took an 8½ year layoff
from the sport and returned to it two years ago, his first fight at the national level was a
good learning experience as he looks forward to his next fight Wednesday against Joe
Hughes of Indiana. Holland native Johnny Garcia, representing Michigan, throws a punch at
New Jersey's Dustin Fleischer during their fight Monday night at DeVos Place. Garcia won
his opening match in the National Golden Gloves and will fight again Wednesday. "I was a
little nervous, but I think I was more nervous at the state finals than I was here," Garcia
admitted. "It was a little more compact there, and I felt more tension." Garcia was one of two
team members from Michigan Golden Gloves who saw his tournament begin Monday.
The result from Grand Rapids' Richard Munoz was a little different in his featherweight bout
with St. Louis' Lemarkis Cowan, losing a tough 3-2 decision to the taller left-hander. "I kept
trying to figure out how to get inside," said the 18-year-old Munoz. "He was a slick boxer, a
southpaw, and I've always had trouble with southpaws. I have fought a couple in the past,
and I've always had a hard time figuring them out." Munoz fought a good first round against
Cowan, but appeared to fall behind after a sluggish second round. In the third round Munoz
pushed the tempo, which had Cowan on his heels. In that third round Cowan twice was
deducted for clinching. It didn't matter in the final outcome. Grand Rapids native Richard
Munoz has his gloves removed after his opening-round featherweight loss to St. Louis'
Lemarkis Cowan on Monday night. "I thought I had the fight won," Munoz said. "I thought
that third round would have given me the fight. I was shocked when I heard I lost. I thought
with the two points deducted, I had it." Munoz's coach, Jonathan Bautista, also thought his
fighter took the fight with a dominating third round. "That third round he had more pressure,
and we they had those two points taken away, we thought we had it," Bautista said. "He just
let that second round get away. We just gave away too many points in that second round."
For Munoz, who's been fighting for five years, it was his second straight one-bout exit at the
National Golden Gloves. "I just keep learning," said Munoz, who fought in the bantamweight
division last year. "This time I felt better, I felt confident." Michigan Golden Gloves team
members Tyler James of Grand Rapids and Jordan Shimmell of Hudsonville drew byes
Monday night. Both are scheduled to fight Wednesday.