The undefeated junior middleweight contender Frank “Notorious” Galarza can easily be deemed “Generous” Frank Galarza as he’s teamed up with the organization “Fight for Peace” which helps kids affected by crime and violence. Also a part of the global alumni, he has his own charity called “Youth Fighting Forward”, which is funded by the sports brand LUTA.
Whether it’s Floyd Mayweather handing out turkeys on thanksgiving or Galarza’s gym mate Danny Jacobs raising cancer awareness, boxers often give back to their communities. But the way an athlete brings the most attention to his or her cause is by winning.
Galarza looks to do just that when he takes on Rich Neves (6-0-1, 3 KOs) for the vacant New York State Junior Middleweight title Saturday night at the Resorts World Casino in Queens, New York. The Brooklyn native will attempt to improve his (10-0-2, 6 KOs) record.
“I feel prepared physically and mentally. I feel great and I can’t wait,” said Galarza.
Although he’s yet to taste defeat, he has two draws which he says is the result of a lack of focus in the gym. He believes his move to the Starrett City Boxing Club in East New York is just what the doctor ordered.
“I’ve already improved because I’m in the right gym,” said Galarza. “I’m in a gym where champions are made. We have Curtis Stevens, Sadam Ali, Luis Collazo, Marcus Browne and Danny Jacobs. Before, because of the environment I was in, I had a lack of training and focus. Over here I’m constantly getting good sparring and I’m always ready.”
Although he started boxing at the age of 17, he doesn’t believe an extensive amateur career is necessary to win a world title.
“I don’t need 1,000 amateur fights,” said Galarza. “I don’t need to be an Olympian to show that I can fight.”
By the time he was 9-years-old he lost both parents to the streets and has credited boxing for keeping him on the right path. But Galarza wants to be more than the average feel good story we often see come and go in boxing.
“I already see myself being a world champion and nothing’s going to stand in my way,” said the 28-year-old. “I don’t want to be just a feel good story. I want to be an inspiration to these kids. Seeing me come from nothing can show them that it’s not about being the top athlete or the best fighter. It’s about working hard and knowing that you’re always going to hit a wall, but you have to find a way to get around that wall.”
The 154-pound division is one of the sport’s deepest, so Galarza will have to be more consistent if he hopes to contend for a major title in the near future. But first he must get past the brawler Neves, a task he says he’s up for.
“I know he’s going to come forward and try to brawl with me,” said Galarza. “I’m not looking for the stoppage, but I’m pretty sure it’ll come, because there will be no mercy and we’re taking no prisoners.”