Advertisement: IBO Boxing

Ryan Garcia: I Was Fragile Back In the Day, Now I'm Physically Stronger

To his credit, Ryan Garcia knew after a pair of tougher-than-expected challenges in 2018 that changes were needed in his still-growing career.

What he still can’t quite wrap his head around, though, is why the rest of the industry still hasn’t caught on to the drastic change.

The 21-year old Los Angeles native has long proven to be more than just another pretty face, emerging as a top prospect and now a rising lightweight contender. The next step on his journey comes in the form of a showdown with former two-time title challenger Francisco Fonsea (25-2-2, 19KOs) atop a February 14 DAZN show at The Honda Center in Anaheim, California. It will mark his fourth fight with Eddy Reynoso, joining forces with the 2019 Trainer of the Year prior to his Dec. 2018 knockout win over Braulio Rodriguez.

“I feel way different,” Garcia (19-0, 16KOs) insisted during a recent open media workout in Los Angeles. “Back in the day, I was very fragile. Not in my punching power - if I crack you, you will feel it.

“But now I'm just physically stronger. Guys who are 150-160 in training camp, they try to lay on me and they feel it. I'm a different type of fighter, I'm a different type of dog. So they try to lay on me, I just lay on them and keep cracking them.”

ryan-garcia (5)_4

It was a deliberate adjustment made after going 10 hard rounds in back-to-back wins over Jayson Velez and Carlos Morales in 2018. The fight with Velez—a former title challenger and still crafty ring veteran from Puerto Rico—saw Garcia struggle at times but otherwise win handily, whereas his majority decision win over Morales—a tough-as-nails Mexican slugger who has never been stopped—saw the unbeaten lightweight have to work much harder to have his hand raised.

Since then have come three straight knockouts, none more explosive than his 1st round stoppage of Philippines’ Romero Duno. Their clash took place on the undercard of stablemate and mentor Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s light heavyweight title-winning knockout of Sergey Kovalev last November, with Garcia making a splash of his own in the evening’s chief support.

It was a matchup which the public demanded, and which saw the wildly popular L.A. attraction rise to the occasion in a way that many still have yet to expect.

“I actually fight better coming forward. Not a lot of people see me coming forward,” notes Garcia. “They see the Velez fight. I was young and plus I was going through a lot. I didn't really train for that fight. I didn't have that conditioning.

“Now, if you try to do the same thing... that's why people keep getting knocked out. Jose Lopez thought he would rough me up, he got knocked out. Duno, same thing.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by ShoulderRoll on 01-25-2020

This kid is coming. People greatly underestimate the value of having proper mentors in boxing. Combine his hard work and desire with the experience and knowledge of the Reynosos...the results can only be positive.

Comment by skinnystev on 01-25-2020

garcia is ready for lomachenko right now

Comment by SplitSecond on 01-24-2020

Don’t believe it. Still got a pencil neck.

Comment by KillaMane26 on 01-24-2020

Lol it's called growing up bro....

Comment by 4truth on 01-24-2020

Got to agree with him and I’m no particular fan.

Top Headlines
Mike Tyson: Fury Getting Up Was Like Rocky, Made Me a Fan Caleb Plant Not Keen On Short-Notice Fight Versus Canelo Perrella on TKO Loss: I Won Every Round - It's Like Chavez-Taylor Rau'Shee Warren: Felt Good To Be Back, I Want To Return in May Abel Ramos Stops Perrella With 1 Second Left in Fight Dubois: Joe Joyce Will Retire, This Will Be His Last Career Fight! Caleb Plant: I Want David Benavidez, I'm Tired of Waiting! Ryan Garcia: I Look Like A F--kin' Beast At 21 Years Old! Caleb Plant Batters, Dominates Feigenbutz in TKO Win Jordan Gill Back, Has Return Set For March 28 In London Dorticos Expects a "Classic" Battle With Mairis Briedis in Riga News: Kash Ali, Alex Dilmaghani, Brad Foster, Chamberlain, More Mike Tyson Reacts To Wilder's Prediction of Beating Him Kell Brook: I'd Be 100% in Errol Spence Rematch - I'd Beat Him Benavidez Warns Plant: Easy To Look Good Against a Bum! Elwin Soto Destroys Javier Rendon in The First Round Hearn: Pressure on Joshua To KO Pulev - They Will Trade Punches Caleb Plant Beats Down Overmatched Feigenbutz, TKO in Ten Caleb Plant vs. Vincent Feigenbutz - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Abel Ramos Scores Dramatic Stoppage of Bryant Perrella Diego Magadeleno Drops, Shocks Austin Dulay For Decision Win Plant: Not Here To Be Nice To Feigenbutz, Here To Knock Him Out Rau'Shee Warren Returns, Decisions Gilberto Mendoza Over Ten Ramos: Perrella's Trash Talk Is As Basic As The Way He Fights Feigenbutz: I Will KO Plant For My Nashville Fans Since He Doesn't Have Any Of His Own Dulay Embraces Hometown Edge For Crossroads Bout With Magdaleno Caleb Plant vs. Vincent Feigenbutz - LIVE Results From Nashville Benavidez: Feigenbutz Not Good At All; How Many Tune-Ups Does Plant Get? Caleb Plant: I'm Sharper Now Than I Was For Uzcategui, Lee Adrian Montoya Returns To Action in Tijuana, Mexico Feigenbutz: Caleb Plant Is Strongest World Champion At 168 Ryan Garcia: I'm Going To Beat Linares, Beat Davis, Beat Haney! Vergil Ortiz vs. Vargas, Pablo Cesar Cano vs. Perez on March 28 Plant: Of Course Benavidez Will Be Watching, He's My Biggest Fan Perrella: Abel Won't Be Able To Do a Damn Thing With Me, Ain't Ready For This Spaghetti Caleb Plant: Me Versus Canelo Would Be A Great Fight! Benavidez: I Don't Like Plant; Sense Fear When I See Him In Person Deontay Wilder: I Will Reopen That Cut On Tyson Fury's Eye Daily Bread Mailbag: Wilder-Fury Rematch, Davison, Gary Russell Caleb and Jordan Plant: The Continued Rise of Boxing's Power Couple
Latest Forum Threads