RYAN GARCIA is honoured to be a mental health advocate after being inspired by Tyson Fury in his own fight with depression.
The lightweight sensation in April last year withdrew from facing Javier Fortuna as he bravely admitted to battling personal demons.
Thankfully, after 18 months Garcia in April of this year returned to boxing with a win over Emmanuel Tagoe.
The American has been open and honest about his struggles as he looks to help and inspire others.
And he revealed heavyweight champion Fury – who came back from 28 STONE to win the titles – was a motivation of his own.
Garcia, 23, told SunSport: “Tyson Fury, he’s definitely inspiring and if I can also be that advocate for mental health, that would be an honour as well.
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“It just so happened that it happened to me and a couple of times I did look to Tyson Fury, what he went through as well and how he made a comeback.
“And he was a big guy, you know like 400lb or however much he weighed, and he made a comeback as well.
“If he could do that, obviously I could come back from where I came back from.
"I’m just another man with another story, but it’s an important story.
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“I feel like it will help young kids and also older adults who can resonate with the challenge.”
Boxing hero Fury went from winning the unified titles in 2015 to battling suicidal thoughts while obese in the space of just two years.
But after making his comeback in 2018, he was heavyweight king again by 2020 and continues to be an inspiration.
Garcia is hoping for a similar comeback of his own having signed to fight Fortuna once again, live on DAZN this Saturday.
But this time around, the all-new US Golden Boy heads into the bout better than ever, both physically and mentally.
He said: “I’m really in tune with myself. It’s like anything, if you keep practising and take no breaks, you’ll get to the truth better and faster.
“So when I say I’m in a better place, it’s like skillful-wise, my timing, my reactions, how fast I think in the ring, it’s much better.
“I don’t have that year-and-a-half of rust anymore, now I’m back to where I was and I feel great.”
Tyson Fury, he’s definitely inspiring and if I can also be that advocate for mental health, that would be an honour as well.
Garcia dropped and bossed Tagoe, 33, over 12 rounds and was in line to fight Isaac Cruz, 24, afterwards.
But when talks broke down, it gave him the chance to settle his unfinished business with Fortuna, 32, following their axed headliner.
Garcia revealed: "It just so happened that after Cruz didn’t want to fight, Fortuna presented himself as an opponent.
“I was like, ‘Wow, OK’. Now I get to redeem that fight that I pulled out from, basically.
“It feels good because I know that I would’ve beaten him then and I’ll beat him now. I can’t wait to get in the ring.”
Garcia was desperate to come back with a bang against Tagoe and looked on his way to doing so after scoring a knockdown in round two.
But the Ghanaian was able to hold and survive to hear the final bell, much to KingRy's frustration.
So it leaves Garcia wishing Dominican Fortuna will perform as a much better dance partner in a fight he hopes will put the division on notice.
He said: “The great thing about now is, before I was out for a year and a half, and because Tagoe was on the move, did it throw me off? Yes.
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“Because I hadn’t properly prepared for anybody like that or I didn’t have my timing down yet perfect.
“But now I think everything, I’m in a much better place boxing-wise, skill-wise and even if Fortuna did get on the move like Tagoe, I would be able to get to him much better.”
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