Ceferino Garcia was born on August 26th1906 in Naval, Biliran Philippines. A revolutionary in the sport, Garcia developed the bolo punch after his work as a sugarcane harvester. According to Linda Espana-Maram, the bolo punch was a “…deadly combination of right uppercuts and half hooks… To harvest sugarcane, the laborer holds up a handful of stalks, bends down, and with quick strokes of the sharp bolo knife, cuts the canes swiftly and as close to the ground as possible.” Because of his innovation, he was coined the name Bolo Puncher.
In 1930 and at the age of 19, he traveled to the United States under the guidance of his manager, Jess Cortes. In 1932, he ended management with Cortes and hired George Parnassus. Under Parnassus, Garcia had early success knocking out Andy DiVodi (94W- 32L- 8D) in the first round and Joe Glick (136W- 70L – 31D) in the secondround. On October 2nd, 1939 Garcia fought Fred Apostoli for NYSAC World Middleweight Championship. Garcia knocked Apostoli down three times in the seventh round before knocking him out at 2:07, becoming the first and only Filipino middleweight champion. Garcia retired with a record of 118W (74 KOs) – 30L – 14D, the most victories of any Filipino boxer. After an illustrious boxing career, he served as the bodyguard and chauffer of Mae West and starred in several Hollywood films. He is uncredited for his roles in Hollywood Canteen, Body and Soul, Ang Vengador and Whiplash. Joe Palooka, Champ is the only film he is credited for, where he plays himself. In 1977, Garcia was inducted into Ring Magazine’s Hall of Fame and in 1989, inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
Author, AJ Ruiz