Garcia’s return to the ring after a 15-month hiatus necessitated the change of trainers. When he fights sprinting contender Emmanuel Tagoe (32-1, 15KOs) this Saturday on DAZN from the Alamodome in San Antonio, the unbeaten, top-rated lightweight will meet Goossen for the first time.
The past seven weeks of training camp, followed by fight week, have proven to be exactly what he required in his career. “When you have to trust your gut feeling—and a lot of people don’t, but I do—you just have to go with it,” Garcia said of bringing on Goossen, a famous trainer with more than 40 years of expertise and a long list of world winners.
“I thought Joe would be a terrific match for me. He’s from another era. He is well-versed in the game’s history. It’s an excellent relationship.” Garcia’s departure was announced earlier this year, indicating the end of his stint as a protégé of Eddy Reynoso, a two-time and reigning Trainer of the Year most renowned for his work with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
There are various theories as to why Garcia (21-0, 18KOs) is no longer a member of that squad, but for the 23-year-old Victorville, California native, the peace of mind he needs to move forward with his career is more vital.
With that came the decision to bring Goossen on board, who had committed to spending more than six weeks in Garcia’s San Diego camp. The journey takes more than two hours from Goossen’s home and training facility in Van Nuys, California, where his fighters are generally obliged to travel.
The two hit it off right away, despite their stylistic differences. “I’m actually looking for a denim jacket, but I haven’t found one yet,” Garcia said. “I’m creating him a denim jacket from scratch.” There’s nothing I can do about that; he’s not going to wear a team jacket.”
All Garcia has to do now is show the boxing world that he is ready to resume his career where he left off after his last outing in the ring. This weekend will be his first fight since knocking out England’s Luke Campbell in the seventh round off the canvas in Dallas last January.
Garcia was forced to take a mental health break after that, as well as a wrist injury that necessitated surgery and kept him out of the ring for more than a year.
“It has to originate from within the person,” Garcia insists. “You may have the best of everything in the world, including all the luxuries. But it’s all about who you’ve got. You won’t have that feeling within if you don’t have the appropriate people.”