Sunday, April 23, 2023

Ryan Garcia and Defeat

 "A champion is someone who gets up when he can't!" - Jack Dempsey, Heavyweight Champion 1919-1926

A good trainer can teach a young fighter to jab, hook, slip a punch and counter punch, along with all the intricacies that go along with training; skipping rope, running, a proper diet, etc, etc, etc.

However, there are some things that cannot be taught. In boxing, we call it the intangibles,  intestinal fortitude, heart. That comes from inside a man (or woman). Some things can only be learned.

Last night, at some point in his fight with Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia realized he bit off more than he can chew. He was in over his head. He had no answers.

Losses are a part of boxing, for most a loss is inevitable.  You can lose a decision or be knocked out and still be, internally undefeated.

That's not the case with Garcia. Davis took his will. Garcia's eyes said it all, he was defeated. Did he quit? Maybe, but only he knows the truth.That said, I am not going to kick a man when he's down. I'm pretty sure he is kicking himself harder than any of us could.Boxing is a tough business. It takes a lot to step into the ring, more than you could possibly imagine.

Whether or not, Garcia can get past this loss or not is entirely up to him. He failed his first "Baptism of Fire" but facing the aftermath of the loss will provide him with another.  First he needs a rest and thinking time but the first order of business should be about the loyalty of his handlers. It is time to make the leap from boyhood to manhood. Clean your own house.

The relationship between a trainer and a fighter has always been similar to a father and son, in my case, more like grandfather and grandson. In some ways, not all mind you, a good trainer will know you better than your wife knows you.

"How you feeling today kid?"

"You seem a little pale today, you sleeping okay?""

"I need you to take a couple of days off. Relax and get back to the gym on Monday.

A good trainer cares and notices every detail of your life. Most importantly,  he knows when you're ready to move up, regardless of how confident a fighter is. That's his job.

Other times, the relationship between a fighter and trainer, or a fighter and promoter can be more akin to a bickering couple on the verge of divorce. You need to pay attention to the signs.

Get back on the horse Ryan Garcia. Learn to reach deep. Find your heart and face your adversity. I'll be rooting for you on your comeback and for Pete's sake, shorten up the hook - it'll help you on the inside - keep your chin down and stop swinging so wide

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