Ryan Garcia is heading into his fight on Dec. 2 against Oscar Duarte with an almighty score to settle. The former WBC interim lightweight champion had amassed a clean sheet of 23 wins until he was knocked out in the seventh round by Gervonta Davis back in April. w, the 25-year-old is focused on building his record to 24-1-0 and has moved to Dallas, TX, in order train with the decorated coach, Derrick James.
Garcia explains to Muscle & Fitness three ways that he has been working especially hard on during this fight camp in order to reclaim his path to greatness—including why his celebrated hand speed is not the only skill to practice.
The lightweight has been soaking up technique since childhood. He says that he would look at the kids that punched harder, or ran faster, to try and work out what they were doing to give them an advantage. As he progressed with boxing, he dissected other aspects of the sport to elevate his game from multiple angles. w, as his current camp winds down and he gears up for Saturday’s highly anticipated fight, he will be relying on the three fight priorities to make sure that his mind, body, and soul are all at the right place come bell time.
Ryan Garcia Believes that Boxing is 85% Conditioning
“The Flash” sets his alarm clock to 7 a.m., and likes to begin his day with 12 rounds solitary shadow boxing. “Just so I can think for myself,” he shares, explaining that this is a great time to think about the feedback that he might have been given from his training session the previous day.
For Garcia, this is a form of meditation. He follows this up with an abdominal routine and in addition to afternoon boxing training, likes to play ping pong and go for walks in order to gain further mental clarity. He has a strength and conditioning class in the evening and at around 8.30 p.m. will round off the day with a quick-paced five-mile run. “And, so for me, it’s just conditioning, conditioning, and conditioning,” says Garcia. “Conditioning is 85% and everything else is 15%.”
To Be a Great Boxer, Learn from Martial Arts Icon Bruce Lee
“Boxing is ever changing,” says Garcia, who has been focusing on the accuracy of his punches over volume or power. This is where Garcia soaks in the wisdom of martial arts legend Bruce Lee. “You know, be like water, be adjustable. Think on the fly and make quick decisions, setting up while you’re thinking and defending. It’s just fast-paced thinking and being like water.”
Garcia uses the aforementioned meditation, and this camp he’s added ping pong not only to keep his mind agile, but also as in direct training tool to help sharpen his hand-eye coordination. “And just kind of always be ready, prepared for what’s coming next,” he says, explaining the similarity between waiting to strike the ball, and waiting to strike an opponent. “I’m waiting, waiting, waiting. Okay, he’s coming in, BOOM!, you know?”
Meditation has been a lifelong companion of the thoughtful Garcia. “When I was younger, I didn’t even know I was doing ‘meditation.’ That’s the funny thing; I didn’t know I was meditating back then,” he says, explaining that he reads the works of philosophers such as Marcus Aurelius. “w, it’s been helping me a lot. I just go on my walks and I just assess my day… like, inner things that I’m finding out okay, in the ring. Maybe this guy did this (in a fight). I’m kind of going deeper into my own thoughts and just letting my thoughts flow.” Garcia also journals his reflections.
Ryan Garcia Has Learned to Use His First Loss to Fuel Future Victories
Losing his first professional fight back in April, Garcia was forced to confront his inner thoughts to an uncomfortable level in order to admit that a range of issues such as covid had taken its toll on his motivation to box. “I stopped caring,” he admits. Then, Garcia made a realization. He remembered the desire that he’d felt as a kid to get to the level he was at. The idea of proving his critics wrong reignited his passion. “You don’t think I’m gonna come back? Okay, so I got a whole different fire… way more different focus right now.”
Garcia accepts that his seventh-round knockout at the hands of Gervonta Davis came about because he had lost his true sense of self and purpose. w that he’s reconnected with his goals, “The Flash” is eager to prove that he is no flash in the pan. “As I found myself by whooping ass, that’s how I’m gonna define myself,” says Garcia of his direction now. This fighter will get a chance to whoop Oscar Duarte (26-1-1) at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX on Dec. 2. (streamed live on DAZN.com). Gone are the wild parties he says, and here to stay is the committed elite athlete. “Just going off and having a good time because I was young and making a lot of money and famous and whatever? w, you can have committed Ryan Garcia, you know? Giving his life to boxing again, just like when I was little.”