Ryan is the favorite in this fight, but Duarte has a real shot at winning if he can land his big power shots to his weak midsection. That’s an area that Gervonta Davis exposed last April when he caused Ryan to quit on one knee in their mega-fight.
The Mexico native Duarte comes into this fight with an eleven-fight winning streak since losing to Adrian Estrella in 2019. He’s been very busy, but his wins have come against no-name opposition.
Duarte (26-1, 21 KOs) met with Ryan (23-1, 19 KOs) today at their first press conference to promote their 12 round fight, and he’s excited about the opportunity he’s been given to defeat the popular Golden Boy fighter.
The 27-year-old Duarte feels that if he beats Ryan, he’ll be fighting for a world title in 2024 against one of the champions at 140. That could mean a fight against WBO champ Teofimo Lopez or the winner of the December 9th bout between WBC champion Regis Prograis & Devin Haney.
“I want to congratulate Ryan for choosing me. I’m very confident of winning,” said Oscar Duarte to the media today at his kickoff press conference for his December 2nd fight against Ryan Garcia in Houston, Texas.
It would be interesting to know who at Golden Boy Promotions picked out the big-punching Oscar Duarte as Ryan Garcia’s opponent. If this was De La Hoya’s pick, he’d be criticized by boxing fans if Ryan loses this fight.
There’s a lot of money Ryan can next year if he gets past Duarte on December 2nd. At today’s kick-off press conference, Ryan named these three fighters as options for his next fight:
Teofimo Lopez Gervonta Davis Devin Haney
“This is the best version I’ve felt. I’m a very strong lightweight, and I feel very stronger than ever. I’m at my best moment,” said Duarte. “I feel great at 140. Yes, I feel like that’ll be the cast. I feel very hungry. I have great managers, and I have their support. I feel that’ll be the case, and I’m ready to win,” said Duarte about him adopting the role of Giovani Santillian to pull off an upset against Ryan in the way he did last weekend against Alexis Rocha.
“I’m very hungry. I’ve been in boxing for fifteen years, and I want to take advantage of this. I’m going to do my best. In the end, the ones that are going to come out victorious are the fans because I’m going to do my best, and I’m ready to become champion,” said Duarte.
Ryan Garcia is NOT a champion, so Duarte is obviously thinking beyond a fight with him towards a title shot against WBO light welterweight champion Teofimo Lopez, who probably won’t bother fighting him.
“I’m going to do my best on December 2nd. I think he’s good, he’s fast, and he has power and has a good punch, but I’m getting ready for that, and I’m prepared, and I’m ready,” said Duarte about Ryan.
If Duarte can take Ryan’s left hook smash without getting knocked out, it would say a lot. Ideally, Duarte needs to make sure he neutralizes that weapon the way that Gervonta did last April because he probably won’t be able to deal with getting hit with that punch without getting stopped like 19 of Ryan’s past knockout victims.
“No, he’s not going to be able to land it,” said Duarte about Ryan Garcia’s left hook. “I have good defense, and I’m preparing for it, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
That would be quite an accomplishment for Duarte not to get hit with Ryan’s left hook. The only reason Tank didn’t get hit is because he knocked Ryan out before he could land it. Had that fight gone into the later rounds, Ryan would have gotten to Tank and possibly stopped him.
“Yes, obviously, I’ve never liked getting punched. Boxing is about punching and not getting hit. If he does hit me, I’m going to take it without a problem,” said Duarte.
“What you’re going to see is the best version of Oscar, the fast Oscar, and it’s going to be a good fight. I’m not going to look for the knockout because it’s going to come. I’m going to do my job from round one.