In the beginning, Frank Galarza blamed himself.
His father died when Frank was 7. His mother died two years later.
Galarza thought to himself, "I must have done something wrong."
When he was 9, Galarza was adopted by an aunt in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. The only real niche he found as a kid was street fighting. When Galarza was 23, his cousin, who became more like a brother after the adoption, was shot and killed. Galarza was caught up in gangs and the drug trade, the very same vices that claimed his closest family members.
The next chapter of his life reads like a cliche, but, he said, after all that, "I found boxing."
Galarza won the 2010 New York Golden Gloves and turned pro later that year.
On Friday night, Galarza headlines a Showtime tripleheader from the Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn. Galarza (16-0-2, 10 KOs) meets Belgium's Sheldon Moore (13-2-1, 9 KOs) in an eight-round junior middleweight bout.
"It's an honor to fight the main event in my hometown," said Galarza, now 29. "I am just happy to be in the ring again."
The other televised bouts feature middleweights Ievgen Khytrov against Aaron Coley and super middleweights Sergiy Derevyanchenko, also from Brooklyn, against Alan Campa.
Today, Galarza finds strength in his life's early troubles.
"I was very confused," he said. "I couldn't understand it so I put a lot of blame on myself. There were a few times when I almost gave up. When my mom passed away. When my brother passed away. But it all has pushed me forward. It challenged me and I am still growing."
This will be Galarza's third appearance on Showtime. And while he has won the New York State title and the WBC Latino junior middleweight belt, he has his eye on bigger things in 2015.
"I am hoping to be in the top 10, or top 5 by the end of the year," he said. "I look at this as me against the world. I only had 11 amateur fights. I don't have an Olympic background. Of course people are going to look at me and not see the next superstar. But I am learning on the job and I am getting better. I know I am going to face tough fights and challenges in boxing. But what is going to be harder than what I've already gone through?"