By Dan Ambrose: Ryan Garcia is taking a giant risk with his career by facing the hard-hitting, tough Mexican brawler Oscar Duarte in his first official fight in the 140-lb weight class on December 2nd on DAZN.
Given Ryan’s chin problem and his weakness in taking body shots, Duarte has an excellent chance of knocking him out, leaving his career in the mud. As it is, Ryan’s viability at 140 has a poor prognosis.
Duarte’s toughness and heavy hands could be a 100% nightmare for Ryan if he’s not able to knock him out with one of his left hooks. This is not the type of guy that you want to let hang around into the later rounds if you’re Ryan.
Ryan Garcia must win
If he gets through this fight, he’ll do what most believe will be a cash-out against Teofimo Lopez in February and likely retire after he’s knocked out. He said in the past that he would retire by
Ryan (23-1,19 KOs) will be the favorite to win, given his experience & power advantage against better opposition than the 27-year-old Duarte (26-1-1, 21 KOs) in their round fight at a still-to-be-determined location.
In Ryan’s last fight, he was stopped in the seventh round when he took a knee & quit after getting hit by a body shot from Gervonta Davis.
Earlier, Ryan was dropped by Davis in round two from a headshot, but interestingly, the Baltimore native backed off and allowed him to survive.
It’s pretty clear that Tank could have finished Ryan in that round if he wanted to, but he likely realized that fans would have been furious at paying to see a fight that lasted just two rounds.
Duarte = dangerous fight
“Ryan Garcia is coming back in December against Oscar Duarte. That’s a fight you can watch on DAZN. Ryan Garcia has been off since his knockout loss to Gervonta Davis earlier this year,” said Chris Mannix to DAZN Boxing.
Will Ryan discover his destiny against Duarte?
Oscar Duarte is as dangerous as they come and quite capable of sending Ryan into oblivion on December 2nd. A knockout loss to Duarte will showclearly that Ryan isn’t good enough to hang with first-tier competition and certainly not talented enough to capture a world title unless it’s the paper variety.
“Duarte is on an 11-fight winning streak, albeit won largely at 135 lbs. What do you think of Garcia returning against Duarte?”
“Dangerous, very dangerous. I tweeted that as soon as I found out that this fight got made,” said Sergio Mora about Ryan Garcia fighting Oscar Duarte.
“You don’t match up a prospect and a popular fighter like Ryan Garcia, who just got knocked out on the biggest stage in the biggest fashion against a monster puncher in Tank Davis.
“You bring him back slowly, get some knockouts under him, get his confidence back, let him get that swagger, build his fanbase back, build the crowd back.
You don’t bring him back against a Mexican power puncher who’s non-stop coming, who hides behind wide shoulders, who knows how to fight small. It’s going to be a Mexican version of Tank Davis, pretty much Oscar Duarte. Without the speed, of course, and not being a southpaw,” Mora said.
Garcia-Duarte pick ’em contest
“Duarte does everything that works against Garcia’s style,” said Mora. “Garcia stands too upright. Duarte fights real low, like a Tank. He hides behind those wide, muscular shoulders and back. He digs down to the body, and he has excellent timing.
“This is a pick ’em fight, in my opinion. I don’t think Ryan Garcia would be more than a 2 to 1 favorite. It’ll be a 50-50 fight, especially when you’re coming off the first knockout loss of your career. It’s a dangerous fight, in my opinion,” said Mora.
Is Garcia vs. Duarte a pick ’em fight? When you note how Ryan was hurt by a non-puncher, Luke Campbell, and dropped twice by shots from Gervonta that weren’t thrown with full force, there’s an excellent chance that Duarte will end him.
“All right, I’m begging you to stop making comparisons between Oscar Duarte and Tank Davis. I’m begging you,” said Mannix.
“Physique and style and how he hides behind his those shoulders,” said Mora. “Tank is the most powerful counterpuncher in boxing today in any weight class,” said Mannix.
“Tank is brilliant. That’s how he got to Ryan, that’s how he knocked him down, and that’s how he put him out. Tank Davis is a powerful counter-puncher.
“I look at Duarte as being almost William Zepeda-like, with a little more power. He comes at you, throws a bunch of punches, and tries to knock you out with his aggressiveness a little bit. It’s much different stylistically,” said Mannix.
Ryan Garcia could lose
“Now, I do agree with you that this is not a gimme fight,” said Mannix. “A gimme fight is what we saw with Ryan Garcia two years ago when he came back to fight Emanuel Tagoe.
“That was a fight that Ryan Garcia had almost no chance of losing and probably would have scored a big knockout if Tagoe didn’t run around the ring for 12 rounds. This is more difficult than that. That being said, Duarte is 135-pounder, and Ryan is now fighting at 140.
“Would I like to see Ryan Garcia fight a full-fledged 140-pounder in his first fight as a full-fledged 140-pounder? Yes, I would like to see him against an opponent like that, but for a comeback fight, this is certainly more credible than other fighters in comeback fights.
“The guy that was rumored to be in the mix, Pedro Campa, that was who Teofimo Lopez faced in his comeback fight, his first fight at 140 lbs. This is a better fight than that because I think Duarte is more dangerous than Pedro Campa, but as Ryan Garcia starts to look at the top dogs at 140 lbs.
I would have liked to have seen him fight somebody that was fully in that weight class that was a full-fledged 140 so he could get that experience as he prepares for or bigger fights,” said Mannix.
Garcia prime for picking
“I agree with you right there, but it’s not like he’s been at 140 too long,” said Mora. “Not only that. He hasn’t really meshed with his new trainer [Derrick James] now. He’s been bouncing around from trainer
“That chemistry is not there, so he’s not a full-fledged 140-pounder, yet he’s not fully totally focused and has the confidence in his trainer. So, he’s still in limbo. It’s at 140, so right now, he’s prime for the picking.”
Is Ryan utterly vulnerable in losing?
You have to think so because he can’t take hard shots to the body & head without falling apart, and Duarte has the kind of Foreman-like power to put Ryan down.
Yeah, Duarte is slow, but the combination of his power and Ryan’s weak mandible & body gives the Mexican warrior a heck of a chance of winning.
“It doesn’t matter that Duarte is coming up in weight. He’s a muscular, power-punching lightweight at 135. Five lbs ain’t going to make a difference. It’s not going to make a difference with his style and his punching power. It’s a dangerous match-up,” said Mora.
“Well, it’ll be good to see Ryan Garcia back December 2nd, live on DAZN. We will be back on Saturday for Gilberto Ramirez against Joe Smith Jr. I’ll be on the call with Sergio and Todd Grisham we will see you,” said Mannix.