Danny Garcia, Michael Conlan and living with a loss

Danny Garcia recovered from his latest loss and featherweight champion Michael Conlan aims to do the same on Saturday, August 6 against Miguel Marriaga.

Danny Garcia lost a unanimous decision to unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in 2020 but came back triumphant boxing Ring to defeat Jose Benavidez Jr. by majority decision. Michael Conlan tries to follow Garcia’s example, but Conlan’s healing process and situation are slightly different.

Garcia’s loss to Spence wasn’t the first of his career, but he did take an extended break from boxing. He FanSided described prior to his win over Benavidez that he felt he needed a break from the sport.

Immediately following his win, Garcia let his emotions out as he qualified on why he needed a break and the pain he had endured during his 19-month absence from boxing.

“I’ve been through some mental things,” Garcia said Post-fight interview. “I felt a little dark. I went through some anxiety and depression. I just did my best to stay strong.”

Hearing and seeing Garcia cry as he shared his mental and emotional struggles was a deeply human moment. He described fears that he might not be able to keep up as a fighter and father. Garcia credited his family’s love for getting him through his most desperate times.

Unlike Garcia, Conlan is only five months away from his final fight, but like Garcia, his previous outing resulted in defeat. Another difference between the two is that Garcia’s loss came by decision while Conlan was brutally knocked out in the final round of a title fight he won.

Conlan was knocked unconscious from a log, which Conlan didn’t see coming. Conlan had his back to the ropes and he fell out of the ring, crashing several feet to the ground under a horrifying sight.

Watch Michael Conlan vs. Miguel Marriaga on Saturday, August 6 at 2pm ET on ESPN+

It was an ugly scene. Maybe that’s one of the reasons Conlan didn’t revisit it.

“To be honest Jeremy, I still haven’t fully followed the fight,” Conlan told FanSided. “My team has and stuff, but I don’t have to see it. I kind of know my good sides, my bad sides in it. And I understand, you know, things were going well and the things that I did wrong.”

If the result was disappointing for Conlan’s fans, it was a tragedy for him. He was so close to realizing a dream that it was ruthlessly snatched from his hands.

“I had to put up with it,” Conlan said. “It was quite difficult to deal with immediately after that, you know. i hate losing I really hate losing. And you know, that was my first loss as a pro and you know it was hard to take. My first time ever being knocked out.”

Like Garcia, Conlan found solace in his family. He only took four weeks off from boxing, but a lot has happened for Conlan mentally and emotionally in that short amount of time.

“So I moved away for four weeks,” Conlan said. “I went to Portugal with my family and just went back there, regrouped and had to think about what happened. I obviously spoke to my team on a daily basis to sort things out and rewind and reflect on what the good and bad things happened in the fight and how it could have played differently.

Too much thinking can drive a person into darkness, as Garcia did. Conlan could have obsessed over his loss endlessly. Conlan was tormented by failure to a degree, but he was able to turn that fear into positive movement forward.

“I would go to bed every night thinking about the fight, dreaming about the fight and how I wish I had done what would have happened differently,” Conlan said.

Conlan added, “This is the best learning experience we’ll ever have.”

There is the positive in all of this. Conlan found a way to view his loss as a teachable moment instead of his lowest.

As Conlan continued to speak, he realized his mistakes. He knew that fatigue led to sloppiness, which caused him to lower his eyes and chin when he needed to be conscious at the crucial moment.

“So all these little things that I’ve come to terms with, and all I can say right now is that’s how it was meant to happen,” Conlan said.

Conlan sees his loss to Wood as fate. He lost. He learned, and now he’s ready to move on.

Conlan bounces back in his hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland at the SSE Arena with Miguel Marriaga batting hard. He’s dying to climb back up to the cover.

“That puts me right back in the title fight with big names,” Conlan reasoned.

Conlan is hoping he can get another shot at the title, win after win. His resolve is firm and he’s hoping for a Garcia-like redemption story.

https://fansided.com/2022/08/02/danny-garcia-michael-conlan-loss/ Danny Garcia, Michael Conlan and living with a loss

John Verrall

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