A peeved Genaro "Poblanito" Garcia arrived in Manila after a tiring 30-hour journey from Mexico on Monday, determined to clear his name after an impostor assumed his identity and fought Filipino featherweight Rey "Boom Boom" Bautista in a farce of a fight before some 40,000 boxing fans in Tagbilaran City, Bohol. The impostor Garcia was dutifully dispatched in two rounds last March 3.
The "fake" Genaro "Panterita" Garcia was exposed two days before the fight when he slipped up at the pre-fight press conference at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu and said the toughest opponent he had fought was Hector Velasquez who knocked him out in the first round on May 19, 2007 and that he had a record of 28-8-1 with 10 knockouts.
The alert Cebu media quickly double-checked only to discover that his record was 10-11 with 6 knockouts and that he was a lightweight. Besides, the real "Poblanito" Garcia never fought Velasquez who was once stopped by Manny Pacquiao in the eighth round of a tune-up fight.
The fake Garcia who arrived without even a trainer was called to a dinner where the media were gathered and where international referee Bruce McTavish who had refereed the world title fight between the real "Poblanito" Garcia and Japanese champion Hozumi Hasegawa promptly pointed to Garcia and said he was not the fighter he was supposed to be.
In a mitigating circumstance "Panterita" Garcia to his credit said the image on the posters promoting the fight was not him.
His revelation and McTavish's identification were too late to bring in a replacement. ALA Promotions did the next best thing by allowing the fight to go on but refunded the money paid by boxing fans for their tickets in the process losing a considerable amount of money.
The giant broadcast network ABS-CBN, embarrassed by the farcical performance of Garcia, decided not to telecast the fight and in the process also lost sponsorship income.
In a commendable effort to redeem a distressing situation ALA Promotions decided, no matter what the cost, to negotiate with the handlers of "Poblanito" Garcia to bring him in to face undefeated Filipino super bantamweight Genesis Servania (17-0, 5 KO's) and at least give Filipino boxing fans a chance to see the "real" Garcia who had beaten five world champions in his record of 38 wins, 8 losses and 22 knockouts.
The fight will be on the undercard of the Donnie Nietes-Felipe Salguero title bout for Nietes's WBO light flyweight championship scheduled on Saturday at Resorts World in Pasay City.
Among Garcia's victims were Rafael Marquez (brother of Juan Manuel Marquez) Victor Rabanales, Francisco Tejedor, Adonis Rivas and Mauricio Martinez.
In the meantime ALA Promotions communicated with the World Boxing Council and the Mexican Boxing Commission regarding the anomaly while matchmaker Hugo Correa who sent the impostor did not return calls or respond to communications.
We impressed upon WBC president Don Jose Sulaiman the need to hold Correa liable for the sending of an impostor in an effort to also redeem the name of Mexican promoters and matchmakers and Mexican boxing itself.
The WBC president informed us last week that he had found out that Hugo Correa has a license in Cd. Juarez and while he has been "called for a hearing six times and has not answered nor attended, we are asking the boxing commission in Cd. Juarez to suspend him until he complies with WBC Rules and Regulations."
The WBC stressed that "Poblanito" Garcia arrived in Manila "ready to clean his name and that of Mexican boxing."
"Poblanito" himself said the fake Garcia "affected my reputation because the Genaro Garcia who pretended to be me, gave no fight."
He referred to the "fake" Garcia as "a clown" and that he "resented the situation and I am set to make it clear who the real Genaro Garcia is. The Filipino fans will see that I am very strong and I throw many punches."
Garcia claimed he is "known around the world as a courageous fighter that never backs down."
While the main event will feature WBO light flyweight champion Nietes (29-1-3, 16 KO's) in the first defense of the title he won from Ramon Garcia Hirales last October 8, 2011 in Bacolod City against Mexican challenger Salguero (16-2-1, 11 KO's) and the WBO No. 1 ranked flyweight Milan Melindo (26-0, 10 KO's) facing former world champion Jesus Geles (13-2-1, 5 KO's) in a battle for the vacant WBO International flyweight title , the real attraction may well be the Garcia who is really the fighter he is supposed to be, super bantamweight Genaro "Poblanito" Garcia.
Whether he is as good as advertised remains to be seen.