Ryan Garcia surprised the boxing world Friday night when he released a statement announcing that he was ending his 3 ½ year, undefeated five-fight run training under the auspices of Eddy Reynoso and alongside Canelo Alvarez. Instead, he opted to remain based nearby in San Diego and to train with respected coach Joe Goossen.

The Victorville, Calif. born-and-bred boxer was 5-0 with five knockouts fighting under the tutelage of Reynoso. The 23-year-old Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) next fights Emmanuel Tagoe (32-1) on April 9 in San Antonio. 

BoxingScene.com interviewed Ryan’s father and co-trainer Henry Garcia on Saturday morning to learn more about the sudden switch of scenes for his star son. 

“Ryan decided that it was time for him to have his own gym, where he’s not confined to a certain schedule and a certain day. It’s like, ‘hey, we have a fight coming up’ you know. He wanted to build his own brand and make it bigger,” said Garica. 

“I think it’s time. It’s like when you have an apartment – you get tired of renting and you want your own place. It’s almost like that. The main thing is that Ryan did not want to feel that he was, you know, in somebody else’s, you know, he felt that his brand can hold up, just like Floyd Mayweather Jr. when Mayweather decided to move away from Top Rank and start his own thing. It’s almost the same thing. He just didn’t want to feel confined to one area where you have to wait until they decide to work out and this and that. We don’t want that. We want to have our own place, and what’s wrong with that?

“Ryan is becoming a strong man and making his own decisions. That’s the bottom line, and we have to respect that. He’s not a kid anymore. He wants to make his own decisions, and it’s not a bad decision. We’re still in contact with everybody [at Team Canelo].

On Feb. 5, Henry posted an Instagram video of Ryan working mitts with son Sean at Alvarez’s and Reynoso’s headquarters.

By Friday afternoon, Garcia was already away from his former gym and instead at his new location working alongside the likes of up-and-coming prospects Nikita Ababiy and Santos Ortega. 

The Garcias deemed that stepping out of Alvarez’s shadows was ultimately the right move for future growth, development, and marketing purposes. That said, Henry insisted there would be no negative feelings between the parties due to the split, even after Alvarez admitted in October that Ryan was wasting his time and talent, he wasn’t 100% dedicated to boxing, and that it was a bad sign.

Prior to the statement, Alvarez and Garcia were increasingly growing close in a big-brother, little-brother-like relationship. In January 2021, the undisputed super middleweight champion Alvarez sat ringside to watch Garcia get off the canvas to knock out Luke Campbell. 

The social media darling Garcia’s year unraveled soon after, as he pulled out of an announced fight with Javier Fortuna citing mental health issues in April. In October, he underwent right-hand surgery. 

“We have love for Canelo, Eddy, and the team,” said Henry. “They are beautiful and awesome people. I can’t emphasize that enough. We respect them and there are no hard feelings at all. We thank them for all of their assistance and are appreciative for everything they’ve done, but I guess when you know we have to make some changes, that’s something that’s decided.

“Eddy helped me tremendously. We wanted to be with a championship coach so I can experience it myself. Nobody knows my son better than I do.”

Henry said Ryan’s solo endeavor is no different than what fighters like Leo Santa Cruz and Tim Bradley have done in recent years by having their own grounds to train on. Goossen will continue building up Ryan just as Ryan and his team rebuild the new gym they are leasing with fresh flooring, bags, and murals. 

Goossen and Garcia have a history together dating back to Garcia’s 15th and final national title victory in Reno, Nevada before turning professional in 2016. 

“Joe and I were working with Ryan at the time,” said Henry. “After the nationals, we wanted to work something out and it didn’t work out as planned. It didn’t pan out like we thought it would. So we decided to go in a different direction. It’s a learning curve on what’s best. Destiny just brought us back. Joe is a very good coach. We respect him. That’s the way we wanted to go.”

Goossen has been based in the San Fernando Valley in California for decades running the Ten Goose Boxing Gym in Van Nuys. He will now have to travel to San Diego to train Garcia. 

“We’re doing good sparring. We’re not missing a beat. We can't – we have a fight coming up. We will be ready come April 9,” said Henry. 

“The KingRy Team is going to be powerful. I was hoping [the change] would have been sooner, but destiny has its own place. When it's your time it's your time.”

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.