Trainer Robert Garcia fully endorses Jose Ramirez’s new change of pace.

Last week, it was announced that the former 140-pound champion from Avenal, Calif., signed a new promotional deal with Golden Boy, effectively ending a more than decade-long relationship with Top Rank, which signed him out of the amateurs. Ramirez had been a free agent since late last year.

A 2012 Olympian, Ramirez unified two junior welterweight titles before dropping them to Josh Taylor in their undisputed 140-pound bout in May 2021.

Ramirez took some criticism, however, after it was reported that he turned down a $2 million payday to fight Teofimo Lopez as part of a new, multi-fight deal with Top Rank.

But the troubles between Ramirez and Top Rank had been brewing for much longer, according to Garcia, the veteran coach who trains Ramirez.

“Way before this news came out, since last year, there were already things going on between [Ramirez’s manager] Rick Mirigian and Top Rank working out, redoing something, because the contract was up,” Garcia told ESNews. “…And when the fighter already sees [uncertainty]—it’s already been what? …At least 11 years, going on 12 [years with Top Rank]. So, towards the end, you see the difference from the beginning, everything’s going great, you’re winning titles, and you’re badass.

“And then it comes to a point, like when you’re in a relationship, same thing, with a girl, where things are getting a little bit too old already, maybe it’s getting where you want something new, something different. So, it kind of came to that point with Jose, where he needed a change. It’s starting all over, he’s excited. He’s full of energy now.”

Garcia said that the circumstances with Top Rank were such that Ramirez may have been unhappy even if he resigned with his longtime backers.

“Even if he would’ve had done another good deal with Top Rank—because he has Rick; Rick is going to bring you a good deal—it’s still maybe for him, ‘oh, sh!t, they already told me they didn’t want to [resign], they already told me negative things,’” Garcia said. “So he’s not going to have the same mentality in his head, his heart. This time, now that he’s with a new promoter, it’s just like a new start. It’s something good for him. I think it’s going to be great for him.”

As to reports that Ramirez had to settle for less money with Golden Boy, Garcia said the difference was negligible.

“Jose is going to fight for Golden Boy, and he’s not going to get much, much less than what the news was” Garcia said. “He’s gonna get paid.”

Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.