Oscar Duarte was stopped in the eighth round by Ryan Garcia last night in Houston, but with minor controversy.
Duarte did, technically, “beat the count,” getting up just before the 10 from referee James Green, who waved the fight off anyway, judging that Duarte had not truly beaten the count, because it’s boxing and these things can be left up to interpretation a bit.
It wasn’t really an unusual thing, a fighter staying down until the very last half-second, then springing up, but Green could also have judged that Duarte (26-2-1, 21 KO) simply wasn’t steady enough to continue, anyway.
Duarte, of course, does feel like he got the shaft a little bit.
“I feel like it was unfair. I still got up, I still felt like I could keep going,” Duarte said via interpreter. “I was still complete and I could have kept going in the fight.”
He added later, “I felt good. I got back up and I wanted to continue. I felt like I could keep going. I do hope I get to meet him again and get revenge.”
The 27-year-old Mexican will likely return to the lightweight division now, having faced Garcia (24-1, 20 KO) at a 143 lb contract weight last night, and with his aggressive, fan-friendly style, his return will be welcome, especially after a very competitive outing with the favored Garcia.