Jose Luis Garcia
Jose Luis Garcia was a top-rated heavyweight contender in the early 1970s.
Garcia was born in 1950, and started his professional career at 6 feet 4 inches and 160lbs. He ate his way to the heavyweight ranks. Early in his career as a heavyweight, Garcia weighed in the 180-188 pound range.
Came to the United States as a mere tune-up for then undefeated Ken Norton. The almost skinny Garcia shocked the boxing world with a stunning knockout over the heavily favored Norton. Norton claimed he was hit after the bell, but the result stood.
Garcia followed with impressive victories over rated Thad Spencer, James J. Woody, and Al Jones (Florida). He became the 4th rated heavyweight in the world in 1972. He was featured in the Ring Magazine and was being built up as a future opponent for Muhammad Ali.
With fame and fortune only footsteps away, Garcia's promising career took a detour. First he married and started to live the good life. His once tall and lanky frame was gone; replaced by bulk and a beefy mid-section. His weight shot up from 188 pounds to over 215 pounds.
Garcia was then involved in a car wreck in his native country which resulted in a death. When he stepped into the ring against former WBA heavyweight champion Ernie Terrell, Garcia was a heavy favorite to score a knockout. However, Terrell surprised the experts by knocking out Garcia in 6 rounds.
A few months later, Garcia traveled to Puerto Rico for an easy pay-day against club-fighter Joe Alexander. A grossly overweight Garcia was knocked cold in the opening round.
Excess weight dulled his reflexes, and his speed, which had been his strong point was gone. He managed a few more victories, but became nothing more then a stepping stone for future heavyweight contenders; being knocked out by Ron Lyle, Ken Norton, and Joe Bugner.
-  Jose Luis Garcia by Jim Amato, November 22, 2004