According to reports, Ryan Garcia and trainer Joe Goossen have parted ways following Garcia’s seventh round KO loss to Gervonta Davis April 22 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Absolutely no one should be surprised by this.
Per Mike Coppinger of ESPN, via Twitter:
“Star boxer Ryan Garcia and trainer Joe Goossen have parted ways after three fights, sources told ESPN, the last of which came vs. Gervonta Davis. The PPV event – Garcia’s first – was a massive commercial success. He’ll now campaign at 140 pounds, but no decision has been made on his next trainer.”
A high-profile boxer changing trainers following an embarrassing loss is nothing new in the sport of boxing. And, given the 24-year-old’s personality profile and the words and actions throughout the lead-in to the Davis bout, it was a sure thing that the veteran trainer would be gone soon after the defeat.
Reports had surfaced, post-fight, that Garcia was only showing up to train at Goossen’s gym three days a week and had opted to do much of his training at his home gym.
Goossen, himself, had revealed a lot in a one-line response during an interview when he said, “You don’t necessarily train Ryan Garcia, you have to collaborate with him because he has his ideas and thoughts…”
On fight night, Garcia fought like someone without a clear game plan or, perhaps, someone who wasn’t taking the established game plan to heart. Disjointed, anxious, and technically flawed, Garcia would be dropped by a brutal counter punch in round two and then dropped again by a body shot in the seventh. He’d opt to stay down for the full ten count after that second knockdown.
After the fight, Goossen was notably absent from the post-fight press conference, as were promoter Oscar De La Hoya and minority partner in Golden Boy Promotions, Bernard Hopkins.
“I haven’t talked to anyone regarding how I’m going to move Foward,” Garcia said via social media, responding to the absence of key players on his team at the presser. “I’m taking time to think about a lot of things. I wanted to make that VERY CLEAR!”
Following the loss, the Victorville, California native and social media star stated his plan to move up to junior welterweight, something which also shouldn’t have been much of a surprise.
This writer had observed chinks in Garcia’s armor in a piece for FightHype.com well before the flaws had played out for the world to see against Gervonta Davis:
“When I first saw a teenage Ryan Garca, I said ‘this kid will be a star.’ When he started coming along in his career, I repeated myself, ‘this kid will be a star.’ Other boxing people would refute my assertion by pointing out Garcia’s many technical/tactical flaws– and they all had a point. He WAS a technical/tactical mess in many areas. But this young man had a beyond-potent left hand that was almost superhuman-quick and the physical attributes to suggest that he could be molded into an Oscar De La Hoya-like multi-tool fighter. Plus, he was really young and definitely had time on his side.
Well, Garcia is still young at 24. But the scouting report on him is the same as it was when he was 20. Talented. Blue chip athlete. Rocket left hand. The only thing that’s changed is that he’s now fighting Gervonta Davis and not Braulio Rodriguez.
There is a certain plasticness or phoniness about the way he’s been sold these last couple of years and the way he’s being hyped in the lead-in to this Davis fight. It’s almost as if he were a boxing superstar as designed by AI. Everything seems real if you don’t think too much, but there’s something off. This plasticness (and maybe that’s not the 100% correct word for what I see, neither is “phoniness”) is not to suggest that he doesn’t have real talent and a weapon in the left hook that is among the very best standalone weapons in the sport (and, honestly, a right hand that is not too far behind). There’s just something there– behind the eyes, beyond the seemingly rehearsed bravado, the facility with words– that whispers ‘no.’
…What I sense is not weakness or lack of toughness, it’s insecurity. It makes one doubt whether he can pull it all together when really, truly in a bad place and whether he can keep it together when things aren’t going too well.
Given where the kid is at developmentally, it’s worth wondering whether insecurity, which could manifest itself as wavering focus and out-of-kilter ego at times, has affected his growth as a fighter. At some point you have to ask why, with so much experience and guidance under the eyes of smart trainers like Eddy Reynoso and Joe Goossen, DOES he still have so many very obvious technical flaws (Chin up, pulls straight back, poor footwork, etc.). It makes one wonder whether Garcia’s heart, soul, mind, whatever makes him untrainable to a degree or if he’s simply not mature enough, right now, to become the fighter he should be.
Yeah, his physical assets make it so that he can skate by and succeed with so many flaws. But any trainer worth his spit bucket should’ve ironed out those amateurish wrinkles long ago. Garcia’s had a couple of really good trainers and the wrinkles are still there. That could speak to the fact that Garcia is not 100% “there,” even when physically there– something which Team Reynoso/Team Canelo alluded to when ties were severed with Garcia awhile back.”
Now, Garcia moves on to a new trainer, but the question remains whether he’ll truly allow himself to be trained this time.