Ryan Garcia apparently has no plans on giving up the shoulder roll from his repertoire.
The junior welterweight star from Victorville, Calif., flummoxed viewers in his last fight, in December, against Oscar Duarte, by deciding to employ the defensive technique associated with the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and James Toney. Garcia previously never tried using the shoulder roll in his fights, and many observers felt the tactic was ill-advised in his fight with Duarte, whom he ended up knocking out in eight rounds at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Garcia himself suggested afterward that the shoulder roll was an anomalous occurrence, saying that even his coach, Derrick James, told him to refrain from assuming that posture.
But in an interview with Patrick Ben-David on the PBD Podcast, Garcia made it clear he will be fine-tuning his shoulder roll, not dropping it. Garcia said he will be taking advice from Mayweather himself on how to improve his use of the shoulder roll. Garcia and Mayweather have recently struck up a friendship; the two were seen going for a late-night jog in Las Vegas.
“He (trainer James) didn’t like that (the shoulder roll), but that’s the one thing that we laugh about,” Garcia said. “‘Cuz I show him the shoulder roll and he starts laughing. It’s not bad, but it’s not great yet. But I’mma have Floyd train me on doing it. He told me was going to train me on how to do the shoulder roll.”
“Anyway, Floyd told me, ‘You have my word I’mma teach you it (shoulder roll) more,” Garcia continued. “And I said, ‘oh ,we’re gonna do a video.’ At the end of the day, he told me my shoulder roll was good. He was like I don’t see no problem with it. That’s the people talking because they’ve never seen a Mexican do the shoulder roll. You see a Mexican [do it], ‘Hey it don’t even look right.’ I don’t care, I’m doing it. The shoulder roll is a beautiful thing and Mayweather is super good at it and so is James Toney.”
According to Garcia’s promoter, Golden Boy head Oscar De La Hoya, his next fight could take place in April. Garcia recently said he is in talks with WBC 140-pound titlist Devin Haney about a fight.
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.