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Back in the ring on October 24, Avila could be fighting for a world title in 2016

Image by icheehuahua
Image by icheehuahua

By John J. Raspanti

Once a prospect, but now a full-fledged contender, Manuel “Tino” Avila of Vacaville, CA. will be seeking consecutive victory number 19 when he steps into the ring Oct. 24 at The Cache Creek Casino near Sacramento, CA.
Three months ago, Avila, 23, captured the NABF super bantamweight title by stopping former world title challenger Yoandris Salinas at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, CA.
Normally a slow starter, Avila got off to a rip-roaring start in the opening stanza.  He tattooed Salinas with stinging jabs and sneaky right hands. 
Avila did even better in round two when he floored his aggressive opponent with a lead right hand. Avila worked over Salinas with precision over the next four rounds. He was younger, quicker, and sharper. 
Soon after round six ended, Salinas told his team he had enough.

A few weeks after the biggest victory of his career, Avila, not content to rest on his laurels, and always looking to improve, left longtime trainer Al Legarda and manager Cameron Dunkin.  Legarda and Dunkin had taken Avila as far as they could. The young boxer needed more personalized care.
Enter manager Kathy Garcia, her trainer-husband Max, and their son, co-trainer Sam. The Garcia’s were certainly aware of Avila. Signing him was a pleasure.
“He (Avila) was inquiring with friends who they thought would be a good fit for Tino as a manager,” Kathy Garcia told this writer during a phone interview a few weeks ago. “My name came up. Obviously we’ve always seen Tino in fights because some of our boxers would be on a Don Chargin and Paco Presents fight cards. We knew of each other and we would give him (Avila) encouragement.
“So they called and asked if we could talk and I said yes of course," said Garcia. "They liked what we said, and we liked what we said. We don’t have to work with boxers. We choose to help them. This is a really good fit. He’s from a really supportive family and we’re a family organization.”
Avila has been a tireless worker since he first laced on a pair of gloves.  
“All we want from our kids is to work hard and commit to their sport,” Garcia said. “And everything else will fall into place. With Tino, he already had that work ethic. Coming here to train in Salinas has been a sacrifice for him. He’s never trained out of hometown area. He comes and stays with us during the week and goes home on the weekends.  
“Early Monday morning he’s back.  We’re getting used to each other,” Garcia added.
Avila is enjoying his first camp with the Garcia family, with one exception.
“It’s been great,” Avila told this writer via email. “It’s just I’m homesick all the time.”
While Avila works on improving his footwork and moves in the ring, co-trainer Sam Garcia likes what he sees.
“His physical tools are all there,” said Garcia. “He’s a harder puncher than his record shows. He doesn’t have a bad knockout ratio by any means, but he has very good power in both hands.”
Avila regards boxing as a job. He doesn’t brag or talk trash. Garcia finds Avila’s attitude refreshing.
“He is a very humble kid and very coachable,” Garcia said. “My Pops (Max Garcia) will instruct him during the round and he’ll immediately try the technique. He doesn’t talk back. He’s progressing every day to what we want him to be.”
Sam Garcia  believes that Avila has only just begun to tap into his ability.
“The sky’s the limit,” said Garcia. “He can be a great fighter. Tino has the work ethic, toughness, and physical tools to accomplish and gain everything he’s ever dreamed of.”
Avila has achieved one goal by winning the NABF title, but a world title is what he wants. His quiet nature belies a determined individual. A few years ago, he told this writer of his dream to capture belts in the 122 pound and 126 divisions.
Next year could see his dream becoming a reality.


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