Among the many things that Ryan Garcia has done to prepare for the future was relive his past.

The unbeaten lightweight has spent the past eight weeks under the watchful eye of new head trainer Joe Goossen, as they prepare for an April 9 DAZN headliner versus Ghana’s Emmanuel Tagoe at Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The time spent together has included the studying of Garcia’s most recent win, an off-the-canvas, seventh-round knockout of 2012 Olympic Gold medalist and former title challenger Luke Campbell last January in Dallas.

The win put the now 23-year-old Garcia on the map as a top lightweight, though also forced him to overcome an early scare that he now believes he could have avoided.

“I love studying the game of boxing,” Garcia noted during an open media workout at his training facility in Chula Vista, California. “Positioning wise on why I got caught, maybe I just started too fast. Maybe I could have slowed it down and not got caught with that at all and had a perfect fight.

“It taught me how I would respond in the face of adversity. It was the first time I ever got knocked down in a real fight. I was like, ‘Fuck it, we’re fighting now. Now the real fight started. I took your best shot, let’s see if you can take mine.”

Garcia (21-0, 18KOs) recovered from a second-round knockdown to become the first to stop England’s Campbell (20-4, 16KOs), winning the interim WBC lightweight title in the process. Campbell suffered knockdowns in separate title fight losses to Jorge Linares and Vasiliy Lomachenko, though managing to go the twelve-round distance on both occasions.

The loss to Garcia marked the only time that Campbell had been stopped in more than 200 combined fights between the pros and amateurs.  

“I’m proud of the fact that I knocked out a fighter that not a lot of great fighters could do,” noted Garcia. “Linares couldn’t knock him out. Lomachenko couldn’t knock him out. I was able to do it. That makes me happy.”

It was the last piece of in-ring happiness for Garcia, who has not fought since that night.

He will enter the fight with Tagoe (32-1, 15KOs)—who has won 32 straight following a loss in his June 2004 pro debut—on the heels of a career-long 15-month layoff and with a new trainer. Garcia spent his past five fights under the tutelage of Eddy Reynoso, the renowned two-time Trainer of the Year who is best known for his career-long work with pound-for-pound king and four-division champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (57-1-2, 39KOs).

The fight with Tagoe will be his first under Goossen, who has trained numerous world champions and Hall of Fame-level talent through nearly 40 years involved in the sport. Garcia vows to be his next champ.

“When you gotta trust that gut feeling—and a lot of people don’t, but I do—you just have to go with it,” Garcia stated of the switch in head trainers. “I knew Joe was going to be a good fit for me. He’s old school. He knows the history of the game.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox