When Temperament is the Winner

By George Thomas Clark on August 1, 2013
When Temperament is the Winner
Garza could've been excused for staying down, but he got up and was floored again.

People don’t need Loreto Garza’s left jab and right cross, they need his central nervous system…

On a June 1991 Sacramento night at Arco Arena, hometown junior welterweight champion Loreto Garza defended his title against Edwin Rosario, who despite being only 28 and a three-time lightweight titlist was perceived to be in decline and a dramatic underdog. Perhaps oddsmakers believed Rosario had already begun to crumble from abuse of alcohol and other drugs.

It’s unlikely Loreto Garza viewed Edwin Rosario as a diminished opponent, and certain Rosario decked him with a right hook seconds into the fight. Garza could’ve been excused for staying down, but he got up and was floored again. He arose on wobbly legs and, despite more punishment, survived until the bell. In the third round another Rosario right rocked Garza and a flurry knocked him down. Soon he was down again and a former champion. 

The outcome of this fight was largely irrelevant to the lives of each man. Loreto Garza didn’t need boxing or the title he’d won a year earlier by dominating Vinny Pazienza. He had something more important: personal stability. I was impressed he’d said in a newspaper interview that he never used boxing skills to settle disputes because “it took a lot” to provoke him. His feelings about meeting the woman who became his wife also resonated. He simply said he’d immediately felt good and natural being with her. People don’t need Garza’s left jab and right cross, they need his central nervous system. 

After losing to Edwin Rosario, Loreto Garza knocked out three undistinguished opponents and retired at age thirty. He had a family and wanted to preserve his health. He also had a new career with the California Youth Authority. Several years later he transferred to the transportation team at the California Medical Facility. In a recent department newsletter, Garza’s colleagues made predictable comments:

“You represent the department…with incredible humility. I have always respected you even though it took this many years to find out you are a great champion.”

“You are not just a good boxer but you are a great person. Everyone who knows you must be lucky.” 

“I had the privilege of working with Loreto…His humbleness and sense of humor are a breath of fresh air in this, at times, tension-filled job.”

In his next fight Edwin Rosario lost the new title by technical knockout and was stopped again two fights later. He then abandoned boxing four years during which he nearly drank and drugged himself to death and did destroy his family life, squander his fortune, and rot in prison a year. In 1997 he began a comeback, defeating five opponents who had no chance. On a December evening that year Rosario visited his four daughters and complained of feeling ill. Then the man who had been king returned to the home of his parents and again said he wasn’t well. Less than an hour later he was dead, not because he was a bad person but because he lacked stability, the most marvelous of gifts.

George Thomas Clark is the author of Uppercuts: Tales from the Ring, a collection of boxing stories available as an eBook at Amazon.com and other Digital Stores. His short story collection, The Bold Investor, is also available. See the author’s website at www.GeorgeThomasClark.com.

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Loreto Garza Vs Vinny Pazienza Rds 1 2 3 & Prefight

Loreto Garza Vs Vinny Pazienza Rds 4 5 6 7 8

Loreto Garza Vs Vinny Pazienza Rds 9 10 11 & Postfight

Edwin Rosario vs Jamie Garza 1 of 2

Edwin Rosario vs Jamie Garza 2 of 2

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  1. Ted 12:20pm, 08/08/2013

    Jaime Garza brings back memories

    A mini-bomber

  2. Dr, YouTube 11:55am, 08/08/2013

    Rare one-Arroyo vs Garza


  3. Ted 05:06pm, 08/04/2013

    BTW, a nicely crafted article.

  4. Ted 05:03pm, 08/04/2013

    Garza was a killer. I recall he put an end to Harry Arroyo’s career.

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