Ryan Garcia wants to make an example of Oscar Duarte tonight in their headliner at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, live on DAZN.
Obviously, it would work better for Ryan (23-1, 19 KOs) to send a message to light welterweights if he at least were fighting at 140-pounder and not facing a guy his coach Derrick James picked out from the 135-lb division. Duarte (26-1-1, 21 KOs) fights at lightweight.
The media was surprised last Friday when Ryan weighed in at 143 lbs and Duarte at 142.8 lbs, meaning the weight was moved up without it being mentioned ahead of time to the reporters.
As such, Ryan and Duarte are fighting at welterweight, not 140. So, any example that Ryan sets by beating Duarte won’t mean much to the fighters in the 140-lb division.
This fight is Ryan’s first one back since he was stopped by Gervonta Davis last April. The 25-year-old Ryan says he wants to beat Duarte tonight, then fight for a world title at 140 against Teofimo Lopez or Devin Haney. After that, Ryan says he’ll fight Tank Davis in a rematch.
Ryan Garcia wants to send a message to 140-lb division tonight
“Oscar Duarte is a tough fighter; he’s a come-forward fighter and has a lot of knockouts. So this guy is going to be a threat in some aspects, but it’s someone I’ve seen before growing up in Southern California, growing up in LA. I see a lot of pressure fighters,” said Ryan Garcia to Stephen A. Smith about his fight tonight in their main event contest on DAZN.
Ryan hasn’t fought a decent pressure fighter in the pro ranks yet. Tank Davis didn’t pressure Ryan. He boxed him and still got him out of there in seven rounds without even trying. It’s quite possible that Duarte could knock Ryan out tonight if he’s able to neutralize his left hook, which is his only took in his arsenal.
“I feel like my experience is going to take over. I’m going to make an example out of Duarte to the 140 division. That’s not disrespectful to him,” said Ryan, leaving out the fact that his fight with Duarte is in the welterweight division at a catchweight. He weighed in at 143, not 140, which makes it a welterweight contest.
“This is going to set the tone. This is going to be the Ryan Garcia you’re going to get and will continue to get, and this is who’s coming. He’s not going to stop. There’s not going to be no back-pedaling. There’s not going to be any let-up with no new trainer. This is the Ryan you’re going to get.
“I’m setting the tone of how I’m coming. That’s what this fight is for me. That’s what you’re going to see on December 2nd. The Ryan that is coming in the 140 division,” said Ryan.
Kingry’s goals: win a world title at 147, then rematch Gervonta
“I’m hungry for that. I’m hungry for the best in the division,” said Ryan when asked if he’s interested in fighting Teofimo Lopez. “My goal is to become world champion at 140. However that road looks like, I’m going to let my coach decide. My coach decided [that I should fight] Oscar Duarte.”
Ryan may fall short of capturing a world title at 140 if he’s going to be targeting WBO champion Teofimo Lopez or potential WBC champ Devin Haney because those do not look like fights that can happen.
Teofimo reportedly turned down a $1.5 million offer to fight Ryan, and he might be looking for a bigger guaranteed purse than is possible. If that offer is legit, Golden Boy is hesitant and taking a financial bath by throwing a lot of money at Teofimo, who isn’t a PPV attraction and is not a big ticket seller, either. He’s just a belt holder at 140.
Haney has already said that he’ll be moving up to 147 if he successfully defeats WBC 140-lb champion Regis Prograis on December 9th. He’s not likely going to hang around to fight Ryan, especially if he’s failed to redeem himself by fighting anyone at 140. Duarte is not at 140 pounds. He was pooled from the 135-lb division, and hand-picked by Ryan’s trainer Derrick James.
“Yeah, I’m hungry. I want everybody. Ultimately, I want that rematch [with Gervonta Davis], of course,” said Ryan. “That’s still burning inside of me, and whoever I got to go through to get that and then become a champion at 140. If we got to go through Teofimo Lopez, so be it. If we got to go through Devin Haney, so be it.
“I’m ready to take that road, and that’s what’s going to happen. Me and my coach are going to stay focused, stay locked in and I’m going to stay active because activity is my best friend,” said Ryan.
The only champion that Ryan has a realistic chance of beating at 140 is Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero, the WBA light welterweight champ, a fighter that is seen as the weakest link.
Ultimately, that’s likely who Ryan will wind up fighting for a belt because Golden Boy isn’t going to throw $10-20 million at Teofimo, and bleed massive amounts of dough when the fight with Ryan fails to bring in more than a trickle of PPV buys.
If Ryan leaves Golden Boy and signs with PBC, they’ll be the ones that will hemorrhage money if they give Teofimo an enormous guaranteed purse.
“You’re going to see a beautiful jab. You’re going to see beautiful shot selection,” said Ryan on what we’re going to see from him tonight against Duarte. “I’m going to box my a** off and look so beautiful in that ring.
“Where my mind and heart is at, anywhere from 140 and 147,” said Ryan about which divisions he’ll fight in. That’s where I’ll be able to dominate in. They need me to make a big fight, so they’ll all have to see me sooner or later. I want to be a world champion at 140; that’s my goal.
“I wanted to make everyone know my name. I did that. I wanted to make a super mega-fight. I did that. Now, I want to become a world champion. I want to solidify myself as a champion. I’m tired of people saying, ‘You’re not a champion.’ Anybody can become a champion if they wanted to. Not everybody. It’s easy to maneuver your way.”
A second Tank Davis vs. Ryan fight won’t be nearly as successful as the first last April, and it would be a stupid idea if Kingry doesn’t rebuild himself by fighting quality opposition at 140. He could do that if he challenged IBF light welterweight champion Subriel Matias and beat him, but Ryan hasn’t mentioned his name, which isn’t surprising.
“My goal right now is to be a world champion. Beat a Teofimo Lopez, a Devin Haney, whoever is at 140, and then see where life goes from there. I want to be a 140 and 147 lb champion,” said Ryan.
“The Gervonta fight will happen. That will play its part. Let me build that up again. I’m ready to become a champion and then run it back [with Tank Davis,” said Ryan Garcia.
Fans arent going to be able to erase the image of Ryan quitting on one knee against Tank from last time without him fighting dangerous opposition at 140.