By Dan Ambrose: Ryan Garcia met today with his opponent lightweight contender Oscar Duarte for their kickoff press conference for their twelve round 140-lb clash on December 2nd in the main event on DAZN at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
It was revealed today that Ryan’s fight with Duarte (26-1, 21 KOs) will be staged in Houston rather than Las Vegas or Southern California, which would be more obvious choices.
Despite the 5’9″ Duarte being listed as taller than the 5’8 1/2″ Ryan Garcia, he appeared considerably shorter than him during their face-off today at the press conference.
In reality, Duarte looked closer to 5’7″ at best, standing next to the lanky, stork-like Ryan. Duarte did appear much stockier and more sturdily built than the thin appearance of Ryan, who appeared thin and bird-like.
The Mexico native Duarte had an intense demeanor during his face-off with the 25-year-old Ryan like he wanted to sling a shot at him right then and there.
Ryan Garcia in a must-win situation
At the end of the prolonged face-off, Ryan nodded & smirked at Duarte as to say, ‘You’re not in my league, dude. You’re going to get it on December 2nd.’ Ryan likely will make easy work of Duarte because this guy is very, very slow of hand, and he gets hit a lot in his fights.
Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya referred to #11 WBO Duarte as the “boogeyman” of the 135-lb division, which is a bit of a stretch, as he’s not that kind of a fighter.
No one is avoiding the 27-year-old little-known Duarte because he’s never faced any contenders during his ten-year professional and was beaten by the only semi-notable opponent he’s faced, Adrian Estrella, in 2019.
That’s a fighter who was blown out in one round by Subriel Matias and in four rounds by Shohjahon Ergashev.
This is a fight that Ryan cannot afford to lose as he stands to make a lot of money in the first quarter of 2024, possibly against WBO light welterweight champion Teofimo Lopez or a rematch with Gervonta Davis.
If Ryan loses to Duarte, it will be difficult for him to come back from this kind of defeat. This guy is not even a 140-pounder and barely a contender at 135. Ryan would be forced to try and avenge the loss to Duarte, and his career would be on the line for that fight.
In hindsight, it would have been wiser for Golden Boy to have matched Ryan with a well-known 140-pound contender like Sandor Martin because at least if he were to lose to him, it wouldn’t look nearly as bad.
Oscar De La Hoya: “Oscar Duarte has become a boogeyman in the lightweight division. He is unafraid to go in the pocket with any fighter and has quickly avenged his only loss,” said De La Hoya during today’s kickoff press conference for Ryan Garcia’s confidence booster fight against 135-lb fringe contender #11 WBO Oscar Duarte on December 2nd.
“Duarte has incredible Mexican star power behind him. He’s unafraid to face anyone, and he knows the job at hand. He knows the importance of fighting Ryan Garcia and is in the gym training and working out.
Oscar Duarte expects to shine
“He started from the bottom and is now here fighting the tough fights. This opportunity is one that he feels he will take advantage of and train as hard as he can and fight as hard as he can,” De La Hoya continued about the 27-year-old little-known Duarte.
Oscar Duarte: “I’m thankful for this opportunity. Come December 2nd, I’m going to shine. It’s going to be a great fight, and I’m going to make Mexico proud.”
Ryan Garcia: “I know this is going to be a great fight. Oscar is a tough opponent and a knockout artist. I’ve gotta be prepared. I’m refreshed after my last fight [against Gervonta Davis last April]. I’ve been training with Derrick [James] and been learning a lot. I feel good at this new weight.
“I’m feeling more confident, stronger, and more aware. I’m thankful of that. I know the city, Houston, is going to show out. I see so much love out here. Thanks for this opportunity to showcase my skills and come back and hopefully get a title at 140. That’s what I’m gunning for.
“First, I’ve got to get through Oscar. I know that’s going to be a tough task, but we’ve been training hard. It should be a good night.”