Ryan Garcia is back in action this Saturday on DAZN, facing Oscar Duarte in what will be Garcia’s first fight since his loss in April to Gervonta “Tank” Davis.
Will “Kingry” get well with a win, or take a second straight L, this time in what would be a true upset?
We’ve got our picks in!
Ryan Garcia vs Oscar Duarte
Scott Christ (96-37)
Duarte’s gonna bring some pressure here, you have to figure, but then sometimes we say that in these situations where that is the only thing a B-side can do, and then they just kinda stand there. If Duarte just stands there, Garcia either picks him apart aggressively or “gets rounds” with his new trainer and the fight is duller than it should be.
If Duarte brings heat, he’s going to get knocked out, I think. Garcia seems too fired up this week to be tentative if Duarte marches in, and the marching in seems bound to be met with one of Garcia’s very fast, very powerful left hooks, and don’t discount his right hand, either. At this level, Garcia tends to look really good. I don’t think the loss to Tank will have damaged him so much as to change that.
Where I think Duarte does have an actual (if small) upset chance is in Garcia’s emotions, though. Again, real fired up this week. If that makes him fight aggressively himself, sure, he could mow Duarte down, but it’s the best chance for Duarte to catch Ryan, too. But I don’t think it happens. Garcia TKO-4
Wil Esco (105-28)
Garcia proved that he wasn’t truly ready to stand up to a fighter the caliber of Gervonta Davis, but he’s also proven to be a star attraction in the sport and that’s something worth protecting as much as possible.
Duarte has really only been in against low-level opposition and I think this step up, and stepping under these bright lights, will prove to be a step too far for him. Garcia will be built back up carefully before being thrown back into the fire for real, and I think that starts with this get-well fight against Duarte. Garcia TKO-6
John Hansen (94-39)
Oscar Duarte has a lot more power than the hand-picked opponents that the Golden Boy team like to call up from lower weight classes to face their headliners. Even so, Duarte doesn’t hit like Tank Davis, and Garcia got up when Tank clipped him hard with an unexpected counter left hand.
And as much as I sometimes wish that Ryan Garcia’s enthusiasm for the Holy Spirit might prompt him to take a monastic vow of silence, his talent is legitimate and exceptional, and he’s a heavy hitter in his own right. Duarte will have to press if he comes in fighting to win, and the punches Garcia sends back at him will likely end the fight early. Garcia TKO-8
Patrick Stumberg (102-31)
Garcia’s continued refusal to fight actual super lightweights remains dumb, but I’ve warmed up to Duarte as a comeback opponent. While a switched-on Garcia is too fast, crisp, and powerful for Duarte, the latter’s meat-and-potatoes pressure could very easily drown Garcia if the latter hasn’t fully recovered.
That “if” is just doing too much heavy lifting for my taste. As effective as Duarte is on the inside, there’s not enough nuance in his entries to overcome the omnipresent threat of Garcia’s left hook. It would be one thing if Duarte had an educated jab or a scientific feint game to compensate for his flat-footedness, but someone like Garcia shouldn’t have much issue timing Duarte’s approach and peeling his face off with a counter.
Duarte would need to inflict a significant amount of attrition on Garcia to offset the latter’s advantages. From what I’ve seen, he’s not capable of doing so without running headlong into a fight-ending bomb. Garcia check-hooks him into the dirt before Duarte can get revved up. Garcia TKO-3
Michael Conlan vs Jordan Gill
- Scott: Gill TKO-10
- Wil: Conlan UD-12
- John: Conlan UD-12
- Patrick: Conlan TKO-6