The Resorts World Casino located at Aqueduct Racetrack will hold a boxing event on Saturday December 8 with Heavyweight Vinny Maddalone, 35-8 (26 KO’S) headlining the card. Promoting the bouts are New Legend Boxing, Old World Boxing and W.O.N. Promotions. There are nine scheduled matches on the card and one of them is a history making event.
Eminem’s hit rap “Lose Yourself” talks about “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo.” For super middleweight Rob Garris this is his one shot that he has waited a lifetime. Garris has compiled an amateur record of 63-3 38 KO’s. He will be making his pro debut at the age of 47. You read that right, age 47. Garris will attempt to make the Greatest comeback ever done in sports history. He will become the only athlete to make a comeback from amateur to pro after a 27 year hiatus.
For those critics who think it’s just a novelty, the ring is no place to attempt a farce. At first glance Garris appears not one day older than 26. He’s in great shape with a six pack to match. While most of us try to fool “Father Time”, Garris is confusing him with his cut-up figure. The dream never died for this product of New Rochelle, even though a ruptured artery that caused excessive nose bleeding forced Garris to retire from boxing in 1985 when he was 19. He continued to work out and stay in shape throughout the years and like every athlete out there, his competitive juices never dried up. He gets his chance Saturday night in a 4 rounder vs 38 year old Abdellah Smith, 1-4.
There’s more to Rob Garris then just being a boxer making his pro debut. He was given up by his mother at birth and spent time in foster homes where he was bullied. After watching the Ali Frazier III bout on television with his adopted father and uncle, the 7 year old Garris fell in love with the sport and began boxing at the age 13. He remained active until age 19 when the injury put his dreams on pause. He became a barber and eventually became an owner of his own shop. He dedicated his life to advocating his needs of neglected and abused foster children.
Garris wrote, directed and produced a documentary called “Never Too Old to do God’s Work.” He plans to launch his film as soon as he makes his pro debut. For Garris the real fight starts afterwords. He explains, “Ali once said boxing was a platform to introduce him to the world so it could lead him to other things he needed to do.” This platform will introduce him to the world to be a national spokesman for the kids in foster care. Garris fights for a cause as he helped raise funds over the years to purchase tombstones so foster children can have a proper burial.
Promoter Felipe Gomez did his job persuading the Boxing Commission to let this 47 year old compete on his undercard and on Saturday night he gets his one shot, one opportunity to seize everything he ever wanted in one moment.