Ryan Garcia and Oscar Duarte will meet in a DAZN main event on Dec. 2 in Houston, and today both fighters spoke at the official launch press conference.
Garcia (23-1, 19 KO) is coming off of his first pro loss, a seventh round knockout defeat against Gervonta “Tank” Davis on Apr. 22, and will be working with another new trainer in Derrick James.
Duarte (26-1-1, 21 KO) is a hard-hitting lightweight coming up to 140 for this opportunity, by far the biggest fight of his career. He’s won his last 11 fights, all by stoppage.
Here’s what the fighters had to say today.
“I know this is gonna be a great fight. Oscar’s a tough opponent, a knockout artist. I gotta be prepared and refresh after my last fight.
“Training with Derrick, I’ve been learning a lot, feeling good. At this new weight I’m feeling more confident, stronger and more aware.
“I’m excited, thank God for this opportunity to showcase my skills again, come back, and hopefully get a title at 140. That’s what I’m gunning for. First I gotta get through Oscar, and I know that’s gonna be a tough task, but we’ve been training hard.”
“If I expect to become a champion, I can’t take any easy fights and think that’s going to get me there. I knew Oscar was a challenge. He’s fast, he’s strong, he’s got good timing. It just makes sense for me.
“If I show what I can do, it will prepare me for the bigger fights. I’m refreshed, renewing myself, honing my skills, that’s what I’m focused on, becoming a champion at 140. I felt like Oscar was the perfect person to come back with. It’s not easy, but I’m not looking for easy fights. I’m 25 already, I’m ready to take on some tough challenges and do it my way to the top.”
“I just gotta be a professional, stay ready. Everybody’s gonna be gunning for me. Obviously I have a big name so they’re gonna want to take what I have. I have to be prepared. I gotta work hard and expect that they’re gonna bring their A-game every time they face me. That’s what I know. I’m just preparing with Derrick as best I can, being disciplined.”
“We’re learning every day. I’m putting my full effort and attention into becoming a better fighter, listening to Derrick, making sure that I’m staying engaged and ready to go.”
“I’m gonna be throwing punches and looking to hit him and get him out of there.”
“I’m motivated, ready to show I belong in the sport and belong at the top. I don’t want to have back-to-back losses, so I’m hungry as ever. I’ve got that grit and got that focus, and that’s what’s most important. I’m very focused.”
“I’m happy and very excited to be here, thankful for this opportunity. I’m ready, I’m living my best moment. I’m gonna shine. It’s gonna be a great fight and I’m going to make Chihuahua and Mexico proud.”
“Ryan could have taken an easy fight, but he chose the correct one for him, and I’m very excited and thankful.”
“What’s going to happen is I’m going to win. I’m going to be the next idol in Mexican boxing.”
“I feel like I’m at my best moment and I have that champion mentality. I’m ready and I’m hungry.”