From Statistic to star- Syracuse's Jimmy Garcia on a boxing journey
It all started 12 years ago.
Jimmy Garcia was a student at Fowler High School on the near-west side of Syracuse, walking across the street to visit a soon-to-be open West Area Athletic and Education Center run by boxing legend Ray Rinaldi
Garcia walked in, asking if this was the boxing center, a place that he could learn to fight.
Ever the mentors, Ray Rinaldi and his nephew Chris Burns asked if the young man had his life in order, in other words they asked "do you do drugs?"
Garcia said yes, to which Rinaldi said if he stayed clean for 6 months, Garcia would be in the ring.
The rest is history.
At 27 years old now, Garcia holds a great job with the Syracuse DPW, he has a beautiful family with a wife and children.
He's still persuing a boxing dream, and is closer than ever to earning it.
It's all because of that fateful meeting when he was 15.
Garcia is undefeated as a professional boxer, 5-0, with a win over Albert Tulley at Turning Stone Resort just two weeks ago.
That victory was a first round TKO, and promoted by Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Productions.
That victory, might just be the gateway to the rest of his career.
Garcia is set to fight again at Turning Stone in just a few months, the more wins and exposure could lead to a more lucrative career going forward.
Perhaps more important than all that is his impact on the current kids on the near-west side.
You can see it in the eyes of the children, they focus on Jimmy's words and his lessons.
They know Jimmy "made it". They want to as well.
In a neighborhood that's one of the poorest in America, where succeeding is simply surviving.
Jimmy Garcia is a ray of hope for himself, and an entire community.