Ryan Garcia has opened up on how his mental health struggles damaged his career.
After stopping Luke Campbell in emphatic fashion after getting up from the canvas himself, Garcia was out of the ring for 15 months due to mental health struggles. During this period, the boxer also had to undergo surgery on his wrist, which was another setback. Following his return to the sport, however, Garcia came back in style. A unanimous-decision win over Emmanuel Tagoe was followed up by a sixth-round KO of Javier Fortuna. The win set up the Gervonta Davis fight. However, Garcia would come up short as he was stopped in the seventh round with a body shot.
Those issues were further compounded by Garcia’s poor relationship with Golden Boy. Following the Davis loss, neither Oscar De La Hoya nor Bernard Hopkins attended the post-fighter presser. Meanwhile, Garcia would later file a lawsuit against the promotional company. The boxer alleged that his contract had been breached after Golden Boy claimed they had an agreement to show his fight with Davis on DAZN. Meanwhile Garcia alleged he was allowed to box on PPV on any network. But as Garcia gears up for his first fight with his new trainer, Derrick James, against Oscar Duarte on December 2nd, 2023, the boxer looked back on his tough moments.
“My mental health break really caused me to stumble and made me take a lot of steps back. I got involved with things that take away from how you sharpen your boxing. When I tried to get back into it I lost a step and never knew how to get it back. Life was moving so fast. I felt so much pressure to get back in the ring and make money.
“It never let me get my foot set and get back in the gym and learn, and remember the things that I knew to do, what made me, me. It was a hard time figuring it out but this loss [to Davis] helped it. Because now I’m awake and so focused. I feel the fire and focus now. It’s going to be fun and magical. I can’t wait for people to see it,” Garcia said
But one of those aims has been to avenge his loss to Davis. Following the defeat, Garcia did point out how the 136-pound catchweight and ten-pound rehydration clause had hindered him. But now that he is fighting at 140 pounds, the boxer has no intention of slipping up once again. The decision to let Joe Goossen go showed that Garcia was serious about making changes to his game, given James’ focus on boxing fundamentals. And that has created a whole new mentality.
“I’m never going to lose again. I don’t want to lose again. I’m going to erase the things I was doing. I wasn’t being a professional, but sometimes you got to lose to realize I got to make a change here. It’s not fun and games. This is a real sport. You could get hurt. It’s been a great change for me. I definitely feel more focused, more committed to the sport, more dedicated. It feels like just the thing I needed,” Garcia said