Migrant who had harrowing journey from Venezuela set to box in Atlantic City

Jose Luis Fracica, who came to New Jersey from Venezuela. Fracica and his family had to travel through seven other countries to get to United States.

News 12 Staff

Oct 19, 2022, 11:56 PM

Updated 632 days ago

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Immigration issues are top on the minds of many American voters.
And while some migrants are swept up in the politics, others are settling into everyday life in places like New Jersey.
One such individual is Jose Luis Fracica, who came to New Jersey from Venezuela. Fracica and his family had to travel through seven other countries to get to the United States. Sometimes it was by bus, but often by foot. Fracica has his wife and 3-year-old son with him. He says that going through the jungle was the most harrowing part. It meant no turning back.
The 28-year-old says that his son was his motivation. He wanted to give the child a better life.
Fracica may now have the chance to do just that. He will be fighting in his first professional boxing match in Atlantic City in just a few weeks.
“I always watched boxing on American television,” Fracica said through a translator.
None of this would happen without a network of people. A friend was able to get Fracica to New Jersey. Another person was able to find him a place to live, and another person got him a job. That business owner knows a boxing coach and the trainer asked friends to sponsor Fracica.
Trainer Shawn Darling does not know much Spanish, but he has been speaking the language of boxing for 20 years.
“[Fracica] is always here giving me 100%. Everything I ask him to do, he’s going above and beyond,” Darling says.
Darling says he’s seen images from the border. There have been a record number of arrests this year. Some migrants are pawns in a culture war. Fracica is focused on none of that.
"A lot of them end up homeless in homeless shelters and I get the phone call that I got one that wants to box,” says Darling.
The fight will be in three weeks at Showboat in Atlantic City.


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