Roy Jones Jr urges Ryan Garcia to show he can make improvements

Roy Jones Jr. believes Ryan Garcia must develop his offensive capabilities if he is to have a realistic opportunity of beating the elite names in and around his weight. 

Garcia suffered the first defeat of his career against Gervonta Davis last April before deciding his future belonged at 140lbs and citing the issue of making weight as a primary factor for his defeat to Davis. 

The popular Californian made his first appearance at super-lightweight in December against Golden Boy stablemate Oscar Duarte Jurado, knocking the Mexican out in the eighth round in Houston.

Post-fight, Garcia said he wanted a world title opportunity at super-lightweight, and following Devin Haney’s successful title challenge against Regis Prograis, he made the new WBC title-holder his top target. 

However, Garcia’s ambitions promptly changed. He instructed promoter Oscar De La Hoya to negotiate with WBA title holder Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero instead of continuing discussions with Haney. 

Last week, talks between Garcia’s handlers and Romero collapsed, with De La Hoya claiming Romero was asking for too much money. 

The promoter suggested that terms for a fight with Garcia and new Golden Boy signing Jose Ramirez were close to being agreed, but Garcia soon dashed that prospect, instantly rejecting a fight with former unified world champion Ramirez. 

Four-weight world champion Jones Jr. spoke to FightHype, and said he felt Garcia was a one-dimensional fighter who needs to improve his arsenal if he is to challenge elite fighters, and not be so dependent on his trademark left hook. 

“I like Ryan a lot,” said Jones. “I think Ryan’s an awesome fighter, but the problem with Ryan, in my opinion, is that Ryan has a killer left hook, but everybody knows that. So until he gets something else to disguise the left hook or something else to make you worry about, he’s going to have a hard time with the upper-echelon fighters.

“The guys who know not to get hit with a left hook like Tank did, it’s going to be a problem [for Garcia]. Until he gets more put into his arsenal, it’s going to be a problem.”

Jones Jr told Garcia to look at Bernard Hopkins as an example of a fighter who made the required additions to his skill set throughout his 28-year career, willing to adapt and add to his repertoire. 

“How bad do you want to win? If you want to win, you’ll do it,” Jones added. "You know who changed up their arsenal better than anybody? Bernard Hopkins learned to change his arsenal, and he was older than just about all of them.

“If you want to win bad enough, you’ll go change it… changing takes extra time, overtime.”