Undefeated Dominican Olympian Héctor García will look to put himself one step closer to his championship dreams when he faces fellow unbeaten Chris “Primetime” Colbert in a 12-round WBA Super Featherweight World Title Eliminator headlining live on SHOWTIME Saturday, February 26 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
“I’m very thankful to my whole team for giving me this opportunity,” said García, who owns a record of 14-0, with 10 knockouts. “It’s time to show the world that there was a Dominican fighter hidden in the shadows and he’s ready to pounce on this chance.”
García stepped in to face Colbert after WBA Super Featherweight Champion Roger Gutiérrez withdrew due to a positive COVID-19 test. Despite the sudden change, the 30-year-old is prepared for what the supremely-skilled Colbert brings to the ring.
“I don’t consider Chris Colbert particularly dangerous,” said García. “I’ve watched him fight before and I know that I do have to be agile, since he is very fast. I have been sparring with many training partners that have styles similar to his here in Las Vegas and that should help me adjust once we’re in the fight.”
Trained by renowned coach Ismael Salas in Las Vegas, García has sparred with champions and top contenders including Devin Haney and Rolando “Rolly” Romero. He enters this fight coming off the most impressive victory of his career, an unanimous decision triumph over Isaac Avelar in December 2021.
“I make sure I stay in shape even if I’m not training for a specific date or opponent,” said García. “I heard about this opportunity when I got back to Las Vegas from the Dominican Republic, and I just knew I had to grab the bull by the horns. I am making sure that I make the most of this by having the best possible preparation.”
The San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic product knows this is his chance to go from underdog to world championship contender, and plans to show off his versatility and power in the biggest fight of his career to date.
“People will witness my potential on February 26,” said García. “They are also going to find out that I can brawl or be tactical from any kind of distance. If I had to define myself as a boxer in one word, that would be ‘versatile’. My power is a weapon because I can hurt you with anything and everything that I throw.”
García is an avid Boston Red Sox fan who used to play baseball and dream of hitting home runs at Fenway Park while admiring Dominican baseball legends such as Pedro Martínez, David Ortíz and Manny Ramírez. His family wanted him to study, but it was his stepbrother who turned him to boxing when García was a teenager.
“Baseball was my first love, but my older stepbrother Derlin Valdez used to box and he would encourage me to do the same,” said García. “He kept telling me to go to the gym and, when I was 14, I decided to heed his advice and dedicate myself to boxing. I didn’t really want to at first, but I also didn’t have the resources I needed to be a true professional baseball prospect.”
García turned pro in December of 2016 after a runner-up finish at the 2015 Pan-Am Games in Toronto and qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“I waited for the (2016) Olympics before turning pro,” said García. “My dream was to win a medal, and I didn’t get to because of an unfair loss during the preliminary rounds.”
Six years later, boxing is still a family matter in the García household. That is what drives him to succeed.
“My goal is to be a world champion, and I’m dedicated to showing my family that I am indeed able to be successful as an athlete,” said García. “They wanted me to study, study, study and study some more, but I’m showing them that I achieved my goal.”