Alex Garcia needed some fresh air.
After spending nearly a year in the gym, preparing for one fight after another, the unbeaten San Fernando heavyweight (6-0, three knockouts) was looking for opponents who wouldn't hit back.
He found them in a stream in Northern California, where he spent three relaxing weeks doing nothing more strenuous then lifting his fishing pole.
"He was really burned out," said his manager, Blinky Rodriguez. "But since he's been back in the gym, he looks like he's on fire."
Hyperbole? It won't take long to find out. Garcia will be back in the ring tonight at the Sports Arena, facing David Slaughter of San Diego (7-3, five knockouts) in a six-round preliminary fight on the undercard of the Rene Arredondo-Roger Mayweather World Boxing Council super lightweight championship fight.
After winning the national amateur super heavyweight title, Garcia turned pro in February and was, for a while, fighting every three weeks. His most recent fight before his short break came nearly three months ago when he won a six-round decision over Dwain Bonds at the Olympic Auditorium.
Slaughter is a relatively unknown fighter, but Rodriguez takes no comfort in that.
"I don't like these guys that I don't know a lot about," Rodriguez said.
If all goes as Rodriguez hopes tonight, he'll give his fighter the rest of the calendar year off, then perhaps go to a new game plan.
"We'd like to get him another six-rounder," Rodriguez said, "then two to three eight-rounders, then 10-round fights. Now that the Olympic Auditorium, where we've had most of our fights, is going out of business, I just may take Alex out of town for a while until we can build him into a main attraction. I'll fight him in places like Lake Tahoe, or maybe Houston."