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Boxer's father, ill, loses his fight

Juan Estrada last saw his son Shawn on TV as an Olympic victor.

August 18, 2008|From a Times Staff Writer

Juan Estrada, a 64-year-old garment cutter and former boxer who realized the dream of seeing his son Shawn become an Olympic boxer, died early Sunday at St. Vincent Medical Center.

Estrada, who was the subject of Times stories by sportswriter Kevin Baxter and columnist Steve Lopez, watched with pride about a week ago when Shawn, 23, easily won his first fight in Beijing against an Argentine. Estrada had hoped to travel to Beijing with his son, but his failing health kept him home in Maywood.

Estrada was hospitalized Thursday with worsening heart and kidney problems but held out the hope of seeing his son's second-round fight on TV in the early morning hours Saturday. He was in grave condition, though, and missed the fight. His wife, Sandy, stood at his bedside and held his hand while their son was in the ring, where he lost his fight, ending his Olympic run

As long ago as January, doctors told Estrada that he had very little time left. But he said he was fighting to stay alive so he could see his son box, even as Shawn said he was fighting for his father in Beijing.

Juan Estrada's wife, three daughters, two sisters and a brother were with him when he died. On Sunday, as the family began making funeral arrangements, Shawn Estrada was making arrangements to return home from Beijing.

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