“That’s one of my idols,” Ryan Garcia says of Manny Pacquiao in a recent FightHub video. “I really look up to Pacquiao.” Although Garcia is well known as being showy, if not outright flashy – and Pacquiao was neither of those things during his ring career – it’s clear Garcia truly admires Pacquiao as both a fighter and as a person. “People don’t know,” Garcia continues, “but he’s one of the people I look at and I’m like ‘man, this guy’s everything I would want to be as a career, as a fighter, because he did everything with such grace and he put up spectacular fights, he helped his community.”
Without doubt, Pacquiao is famous for his generoristy, especially when it comes to the needy in his Filipino homeland. “I’m trying to do things similar like that,” Garcia says in reference to Pacqiuao’s charitable acts. “I want to give back to the younger generation.” Garcia may aspire to be like Pacquiao, but he also has something similar with another famous fighter – Tyson Fury. For, like Fury, Garcia has been unafraid to be open about the emotional challenges he’s had to face. “I’ve had to deal with a lot of drama in my short career,” Sports Illustrated quotes Garcia as saying. “But I think everything works out for the better.”
After fifteen months away from the ring, Garcia is set to make his highly publicized return on April 9th when he faces Emmanuel Tagoe. The scheduled 12 rounder is set to go down at the Alamodome and will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service. Although the 32-1 Tagoe isn’t a big name at the moment, the man hasn’t lost since his first fight – and that was close to 20 years ago. The 21-0 Garcia, however, appears to be operating with a clear head and his always thunderous power.
He also has a new general in his corner – the legendary trainer Joe Goosen. Garcia had recently been with Canelo Alvarez’ esteemed trainer Eddie Reynoso, but decided to make the move over to Goosen, who had helped Garcia back when the young Californian was an amateur. “Joe’s a hardworking guy,” Sports Illustrated quotes Garcia as saying, “and he’s an old-school type of trainer, and I love that because I’m an old-school type of fighter.” As he turns the page to a new chapter of his already high profile career, Garcia seems to be self aware enough to realize when a change is needed, be it in or out of the ring…something else the 23 year old has in common with Pacquiao.