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Ryan Garcia Teams Up With Noted Trainer Derrick James

Posted on 05/19/2023

By: Sean Crose

Ryan Garcia may have gotten knocked out by Gervonta Davis last month, but he’s back in the news with a new trainer to help guide the course of his career. Of course a trainer is different than a promoter or manager. Trainers only prepare fighters for inside the ring battles – but, as some have pointed out, if Garcia doesn’t grow as a fighter he’s going to hit a ceiling early and fail to live up to the high expectations that have already been set in place for him. A loss to Davis is anything but shameful, but Garcia can’t afford to lose another bout any time soon if he wants to be viewed as a serious commodity.

Enter Derek James, ring general. Aside from Errol Spence, Texas’ James also trains Jermel Charlo and Anthony Joshua. Quite a lineup. And now he can add Garcia to his roster. “Time for the return,” Garcia posted to social media on Thursday alongside pics of himself, James, and Spence. The hard hitting and popular young fighter was most recently paired with noted trainer Joe Goosen. Before Goosen, Garcia had trained with famed Canelo Alvarez trainer Eddie Reynoso. Now, that Garcia has a loss on his resume, he apparently is hoping to find greener pastures with James.

With the one forty pound division in his sights, Garcia is obviously going to want to be at his best, as the junior welterweight realm features such names as Regis Prograis, and Josh Taylor. Before their April superfight, Davis pointed out that Garcia had a left hook and not much else. While other fighters have been accused of only having concussive power – Deontay Wilder and Gerry Cooney come to mind – Davis clearly found a way to avoid taking punishment from Garcia in the ring. No doubt James will work to add tools to Garcia’s toolbox.

“I’m searching for greatness,” ESPN quotes Garcia as saying. “I’m looking to improve. I’m looking to be a champion with Derrick James. I feel he can guide me and mentor me.” Whether James can manage to do what Goosen and Reynoso couldn’t – satisfy Garcia while improving his game – remains to be seen. As far as trainers go, however, there’s no doubt that James; along with a few others, sits atop boxing’s Mount Olympus. It’s said in some quarters that Garcia doesn’t view the fighter/trainer relationship as that of a master and a pupil. If James insists on such a relationship, and Garcia agrees, the pairing may indeed prove to be a fruitful one.

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