Los Angeles flyweight Heaven Garcia is on a mission to become only the third American boxer, second female, to capture gold medals at the Youth World Championships and upcoming Youth Olympics during the same year, joining Shakur Stevenson and Jajairia Gonzales, who both accomplished this rare feat in 2014.
The Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 will be held Oct. 6-18 at Parque Polidesportivo Roca in Argentina.
Garcia explained that her unusual first name is the result of her father being told he could never have children and upon her birth, he felt it was a miracle!, aptly naming her, Heaven.
Heaven started boxing when she was eight. “After a week,” Garcia said, “I fell in love with boxing. I never played any other sports.
“My short-range goal in boxing is to win my second gold medal at the Youth Olympics. Long-range is to qualify and win a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics, and then turn pro and become world champion.”
The 18-year-old Garcia, who was a 2015 Junior World Champion, avenged her quarterfinal loss to Kazakhstan’s Zhansaya Abdraimova at last year’s Youth World Championships, winning the rematch with a 3-2 decision in the semifinals of the 2018 Youth World Championships final.
Garcia picked up her second World title with her 4-1 split decision victory over India’s Anamika Garcia doesn’t consider herself a pure boxer or devastating puncher, at least at this stage of her relatively young boxing career.
“I’m a fighter who goes forward,” she noted. “I pressure my opponent, go to the body a lot, and hit her when the right spot is there.”
Garcia will be ending her youth career at this month’s Youth Olympics, after which she will move up to become an Elite boxer. “I feel I’m ready for the Elites,” Heaven remarked. “Every step I take is to progress.
“I’ve had a good year,” she admitted. (she also won a gold medal at this year’s Youth Continental Championships) “I’ve also traveled to Taiwan, Hungary and now Argentina.”
Heaven can’t wait to capture her third gold medal at a 2018 International tournament.