Ryan Garcia returned to the ring on Saturday to begin mounting his comeback. Coming off of his first career loss to Gervonta “Tank” Davis, Garcia faced Oscar Duarte at a new weight class of junior welterweight.
Ryan Garcia came out in the opening round using lateral movement, looking to land the uppercut behind a strong jab. Duarte known as a pressure fighter pressed forward, trying to close the distance and was able to land a solid left-hand shot at the midway point of the round. The second round saw more of the same.
Then in rounds three through six Garcia debuted his version of the Floyd Mayweather shoulder roll defense. However, it seemed awkward, as at times Garcia ended up with his back to Duarte allowing him to land solid left hooks. Clearly this technique is a work in progress for the young fighter. And allegedly a point of contention with new trainer Derrick James.
Sensing he needed to do more, Garcia did apply pressure to Duarte in the eighth round, with thirty-two seconds left Garcia landed his signature left hook. Realizing he caught Duarte Garcia proceeded to land a flurry of shots that sent Duarte down to the canvas. Duarte failed to get up, and Garcia was declared the winner by way of knockout.
What’s next for Ryan Garcia? He wasted no time and left no ambiguity, post-fight he called out WBA junior welterweight champion Rolando “Rolly” Romero. “I want to become a world champion. I want Rollies next.”
Until then check out the highlights of Ryan Garcia vs. Oscar Duarte here.