Gabe Lira, left, and his father Ben
Several hundred people turned out Thursday at Rose Hills Memorial Park for the funeral of former boxer/trainer Gabe Lira of Whittier. Lira succumbed July 13 after a 10-month battle with a fungal brain infection that eventually led to heart failure.
Speakers eulogizing Lira talked about his gregarious personality, how he joked with family and friends and was always smiling.
Lira went 7-3-1 with four knockouts in the 1980s. A parks and recreation worker, he helped his father train fighters out of the Teamsters Youth Boxing Club in South El Monte. Lira was 54.
On hand were middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and his trainer, Abel Sanchez. Lira’s father, Ben Lira, is Golovkin’s assistant trainer.