'No-name' Garcia seeks title

November 30, 1993|By Phil Jackman

Reading Time: Two Minutes.

Fabian Garcia, who fights Jake "The Snake" Smith for the Maryland light-heavyweight title atop Stu Satosky's boxing card at Martin's West tonight (7:30), doesn't have a middle name. But if he did, "Opponent" would fit.

"That's me, the unknown opposition," says Garcia, who works as a private investigator and youth counselor in Rockville when he's not trading nosebleeds. "In most of my pro fights, I've usually had three or five days to get ready. And the bouts are always in the other guy's town."

Which explains the modest 7-5-1 record, but not why Fabian has fought an average of just two times per year since 1987.

"I never took boxing seriously and, really, I didn't have a lot of confidence," Garcia answered. "I lost to Terry Ray in 1992 [in an outright robbery] and that turned me around. That and working with [manager-trainer] Bill Green."

Since, Fabian has beaten Sean Mannion, a guy who has had 55 fights, including a couple of title shots, then unbeaten Vaughn Hicks, who fell in nine rounds, and Jason Waller, who exited in one.

Smith, a bar owner from Fells Point, enters with a 10-3 record, and two of those three losses were to Garcia. "He wore me down both times," said Jake, who boasts he's in the best shape of his life.

* If you think the Bowl Coalition's attempt at a championship game and the rankings of the writers and coaches has college football in a dither, just think if unbeaten Auburn, obviously the best team in the SEC, wasn't on probation.

* On the eve of battle, alias NFL Expansion Tuesday II, Philadelphia Eagles owner Norman Braman, a member of the league Expansion Committee, says, "I'll say this much, it's wide open. I don't think any city has an advantage over any other city." Yeah, right.

* Three cheers for the folks on the shores of the Severn, clearing up George Chaump's coaching situation 10 days prior to the biggie against Army at the Meadowlands Saturday. For all the talk of Navy's having reasonable Division I talent, it doesn't and it's a waste of time blaming it on the likes of Chaump and his predecessors Elliot Uzelac and Gary Tranquill. And, please, no hollering about the miracles George Welsh wielded way back when; there was a reason.

* Something is radically wrong when, after a sizzling overtime game before a frantic crowd in excess of 12,000, Georgetown's grumpy coach John Thompson apparently has the say-so over whether a natural rivalry against Maryland continues. Forget one game; they should meet twice, early and late, each season.

* If you weren't tuned in to "60 Minutes" Sunday evening, you missed a very interesting segment on Florida's extremely lenient bankruptcy laws and the eminent stuffed shirt himself, former baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn, explaining away his exodus relatively unscathed when his reputable law firm in New Jersey went belly-up.

* You have to wonder how much thought the ultra-prosperous and super popular NFL gives to the fact that Sunday's menu of 11 games produced in excess of 100,000 no-shows. The Giants, of all people, Cincinnati and New England were all in the 17,000 range.

* Better grab onto something before taking on this next tidbit: Eddie Murray will be in Atlantic City this weekend signing autographs at a Sports Memorabilia Show at the Showboat -- for two days, no less. Is it possible Eddie is seeking employment?

* While it's true cross-country courses can be pretty tricky and convoluted, it's absolutely inexcusable that just five of 128 competitors in the NCAA Division II title event in California ran the course as laid out. Even worse was no one challenging the results despite the fact 96 percent of the field ran a fictitious course. Pssst, fellas, after an hour's rest, the race should have been run again.

* I guess all's fair in love, war and (late addition) baseball contract negotiations: During talks with the Orioles about his client Will Clark, agent Jeff Moorad admits he was talking to other clubs using phones in the O's offices at Camden Yards. "I felt a little funny about that, using their phones, but I put the calls on my credit card."

Now that's class.

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