Ryan Garcia will break new ground at an old Golden Boy Promotions preferred venue for his next fight.
A location was confirmed for Garcia’s upcoming junior welterweight clash versus Mexico’s Oscar Duarte. Their December 2 DAZN headliner will now land at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, as confirmed by Garcia and Golden Boy co-founder and Hall of Fame promoter Oscar De La Hoya.
The development comes days after it was previously revealed by De La Hoya that Alamodome was targeted to house the event, though it was subsequently learned that a deal was never finalized. Golden Boy was previously looking at locations throughout Texas as well as the greater Phoenix (Arizona) area for the show.
Garcia (23-1, 19KOs) has previously headlined shows in San Antonio and Dallas, the latter where he presently trains with Derrick James whose gym he joined earlier this year. This event will mark the first pro appearance in Houston for the 25-year-old Victorville, California native and first fight in general since his April 22 knockout loss to Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (29-0, 27KOs) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Duarte (26-1-1, 21KOs) has spent his entire career evenly divided between California and his native Mexico. He has fought 14 times in California, including three of his last four starts amidst his current eleven-fight win streak. The 27-year-old Parral, Chihuahua native will fight for the first time in Texas and moves up in weight for a dream opportunity.
Undercard bouts have yet to be revealed for the show.
Unbeaten lightweight Floyd ‘Kid Austin’ Schofield was teased to land on the card, though the news tip came at a time when it was believed the event would take place in San Antonio. Houston’s own Marlen Esparza would be a logical choice to defend her lineal/WBC/WBA/WBO flyweight championship on the card, though it remains unclear whether she will be forced into a mandatory rematch versus former titlist Gabriela ‘La Chuky’ Alaniz, whom she edged in their July 8 unification bout in San Antonio.
Golden Boy has previously done frequent business in Houston but not since a January 2019 DAZN show headlined by then-WBO junior middleweight titlist Jaime Munguia at this very location. The last boxing event to take place at Toyota Center was in June 2019, headlined by locally-based two-division and reigning WBC middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22KOs), who has not fought since that night.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox