Ryan Garcia vs Oscar Duarte Set for December in San Antonio
The return of popular junior welterweight “King” Ryan Garcia (23-1, 19 KOs) is now a done deal. During an interview with ESPN, Garcia’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, revealed Garcia will face Oscar Duarte (26-1-1, 21 KOs) on December 2 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, on DAZN.
It’s the first fight for Garcia since a seventh-round stoppage loss to reigning WBA Regular lightweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis in April 2023. Following that setback, Garcia felt that a change was needed. The now 25-year-old dumped previous trainer Joe Goosen for the services of Derrick James.
He’s facing a Duarte who won his last eleven fights, all by stoppage. But a closer inspection of his record reveals that those wins are against relatively obscure, non-descript opponents. After facing Davis at a catchweight of 136 pounds, Garcia is campaigning permanently in the junior welterweight division.
Garcia has excellent hand speed and punching power. But the main criticism from insiders is that he’s not defensively responsible and is not a fully-developed boxer. It will be interesting to see if he can become more of a complete fighter under the tutelage of James.
The 25-year-old Garcia wants to look impressive against Duarte. A dominating victory would be a big boost to his confidence. It could also set up a possible matchup against reigning WBO junior welterweight champion Teofimo Lopez in the spring of 2024.