Today marked day one officially of the build-up for Ryan Garcia versus Oscar Duarte, which will take place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, on the first Saturday of the last month of 2023, December 2nd.
Garcia, who proved his chops as a pay-per-view seller, when he fought boxing superstar Gervonta Davis now is eager to get back to his winning ways - yet it won't be easy. His opponent for his return to the ring is Duarte, hailing from Parral, Mexico, who has been known for his ability to upset fighters on the regional Southern California circuit which is one of the reasons he landed his contract with Golden Boy Promotions.
Garcia made his initial thoughts on the fight at the press conference today
“It is not easy, but I am not looking for easy fights,” said Garcia at today's press conference in Texas. “I am twenty-five [years old] already, and I am ready to take on some tough challenges.”
When the bout was announced it shocked some. A sentiment that some felt was Garcia's boxing career up until the Davis fight and to some extent, the Luke Campbell as he had been handled in a way to perfectly position his career. Garcia is a big draw, and a big attraction on the new coveted currency in the world - clout or should we say social media followers. Emerging in the middle of the last decade Garcia was a bright spot for Golden Boy Promotions 'L.A. Fight Club', as he became a star from those bouts. Garcia would get first-round KOs on big platforms such as ESPN, the night before Canelo Alvarez would fight to grow his name in the sport, but the feeling has been this. 'When will Garcia take a real fight?'
That time is now, as it appears he is taking back-to-back tough fights. Garcia seemingly addressed this at the press conference stating he does not want to be on a two-fight losing streak.
“I am motivated and ready to show I belong in this sport,” said Garcia. “I don’t want to [have] back-to-back losses."
The rumblings in the air are Garcia's name is being associated with the likes of Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney. Lopez is not fighting before the Heisman presentation on December 9th, a date that over the past four years Lopez has fought to make his own. It was stated when Lopez appeared on ProBox TV that he is looking for a fight with Ryan Garcia at the newly opened Sphere in Las Vegas, Nevada for around the time of the Super Bowl in 2024, which would be a tentative date of February 10th.
Garcia said the following as if to speak to that.
“If I show what I can do, it will prepare me for the bigger fights,” said Garcia. “That is where I am at I am refreshed, renewing myself, rehoning my skills, and that’s what I am focused on becoming a champion at 140 [lbs], and I feel Oscar was the perfect person to come back with.”
"Obviously, I have a big name, so they are going to want to take what I have," reflected Garcia. "I just have that grit, and I have that focus, that is most important, I have that focus, and ready to do what I have to do."
As the two came face-to-face it was clear Garcia was taller, but Duarte had wider shoulders though given the circumstance of a press conference it is easy to try and see something that isn't there, i.e. overthink it. Garcia looks bigger, and more natural at the junior welterweight division, but Duarte as his record reflects has the body of a puncher, and though he will probably be undersized in the division, he will have the opportunity to find out just how solid Garcia's chin is, which is a question some fans still have