By Jim Calfa: Trainer Joe Goosen had mostly praise for Ryan Garcia after his victory over Emmanuel Tagoe last Saturday night at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
This performance by Ryan was so bad that it’s hard to imagine him being able to compete with any of the top lightweights in the division.
After last Saturday night, it’s a waste of time for anyone to mention Ryan’s name in the same conversations with the top 135-pounders like George Kambosos Jr, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, Devin Haney, and Vasyl Lomachenko. Ryan is light years behind those fighters in the talent department.
Goosen said after the fight, Ryan (22-0, 18 KOs) performed well enough to deserve an ‘A’ grade for beating Tagoe (32-2, 15 KOs) by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision by the scores of 119-108, 118-109, and 119-108.
The boxing public has been less kind about their grade of the 23-year-old Ryan, saying that he looked just as unskilled and clueless inside the ring as he was in the past before teaming up with Gooden as his new coach.
Two obvious areas to criticize about Ryan’s performance were his lack of a jab and the way that he was unwilling to pressure Tagoe the way he needed to for him to knock him out.
Ryan was concerned about not getting hit, he wasn’t willing to stay in there with the light-hitting Tagoe to land his shots.
It looked to some like Ryan had no confidence in his ability to take a shot from Tagoe, so he wasn’t going to fight with the courage that he needed to have a chance of knocking him out.
There are already many boxing fans saying that Ryan needs to dump Goosen and go back to Eddy Reynoso on his knees, begging him to be allowed back in his gym.
Goosen gives Ryan an ‘A’
“Ryan went to school, he learned a lot. We’re going to watch tape of this fight and we’re going to dissect it,” said trainer Joe Goosen to Fight Hub TV on Ryan Garcia’s win over Emmanuel Tagoe.
“I give him an A,” said Goosen when asked what grade he gives Ryan for his performance against Tagoe. “15 months off against a basically undefeated fighter. He didn’t get hit, showed great conditioning, and punched hard all the way to the end of the fight. Hurt Tagoe, I think in the tenth or the eleventh.
“Tagoe was holding on like a barnacle for most of the rounds. It was part wrestling match part fight. I give Ryan an ‘A’ on his determination, for being out 15 months, coming back, and showing that type of conditioning,” Goosen said.
If Goosen truly believes Ryan rates an “A” grade in his performance against Tagoe, then Garcia and his dad, Henry need to seriously be thinking about finding a new trainer because that was nowhere near an A-level effort from the Victorville, California native.
“We’re going to say, ‘Here’s what we could have done more of or less of,'” Goosen continued about Ryan. “As far as today went, I thought after being out for a year and a half against a guy [Tagoe] that has 30-something wins.
“He’s only lost one fight and that was very early in his career and hasn’t lost since. That’s a heck of a guy to take on for a comeback fight. It was no easy touch. He had a great chin. Those guys from Ghana are really tough,” said Goosen.
Ryan still learning
“People said, ‘Oh, it’s a one or two-round knockout [for Ryan over Tagoe.’ I said, ‘No, I don’t think so.’ I thought he would go five or six or maybe seven,” said Goosen. “I certainly thought we might have him out by nine and almost did a few times.
“The guy came in great shape, he took a great punch, he survived, took good punches, and held on smartly. He moved around, some would say he ran, smartly.
“It really wasn’t a performance on his part to win unless he thought he was going to get lucky with an overhand right, which was not going to happen.
“Diego Corrales, when we got together, he was 27-years-old. So, he was much more mature, much more experienced, and a different fighter at that point,” said Goosen when asked if Ryan reminds him of Diego Corrales.
“Ryan has possibilities of being in his own way as great as Corrales is. Corrales. It was a whole different style. Some things may remind you of that, but not really. Ryan has the possibility of becoming one of the big superstars of all.
“He just turned 23, he’s going to be 24. He’s only had 21 fights, that’s not a lot of fights. That was the first time that he’s gone 12 rounds ever,” said Goosen about King Ry being extended the full 12 round distance by Tagoe.
“This kid of growing right now physically, mentally, spiritually in every way. Give him a couple of years and it’s going to be over. You can’t say go for the knockout only. You have to say how to go for a knockout,” Goosen said.
Mistakes were made
“That’s what I was telling him. ‘You got to work your jab, you got to work your way in. Don’t back out a lot.’ After a certain point when the guy is running, why even back away from the guy?” Goosen said in discussing some of the things Ryan failed to do.
“Sometimes you got to keep the pressure on a guy and be relentless about it, but you also got to go to the body more. There are a few other punches that we’re going to work on in the gym that we’re going to be able to implement when we get a little bit closer.
“Keep the pressure on a guy like that, don’t let him run around, cut off the ring, get to his body because if you swing for his head, you’re likely going to miss because he’s got really good head movement.
“We accomplished most of that. We just didn’t knock him out. We almost did, but we ran the table. We won every round. You can’t be disappointed because you didn’t knock him out. I’ve been around long enough to know that a 12-round win over a basically undefeated guy is pretty damn good.
Tank Davis fight not being discussed
“I don’t know of any Tank fight. No one of any relevance has said we’re fighting Tank,” said Goosen in making it clear that Ryan isn’t going to be fighting Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis next.
“Now, that would be Tank’s promoter, Tank’s manager, or Tank himself. I’ve heard nothing about that. Has Tank been mentioned by a lot of people? Yes, but there’s nothing of substance that has ever been directed towards me or camp that I know of.
“Certainly, a possibility one day,” said Goosen about Tank Davis being a possible future opponent for Ryan Garcia.
“When you come out of a fight unscathed, one of the downsides of boxing in the modern era is fighters to fight enough. Most of the guys that I grew up and trained with, they all had 60, 70, and 80 fights. They fought tough and they fought often.
“So when you became a champion, you held onto it for a while because you had that experience. The answer is, I’d like to see Ryan get back there asap. No hurt hands, no cuts, no bruises, no bumps. Take a couple of weeks off and get back in the gym.
“I want to keep my fighters busy. That’s how they learn and that’s how they stay in shape, quite frankly,” said Goosen.