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‘I’ll beat his a—, he’s scared all the time’: Ryan Garcia slams Shakur Stevenson, calls out Rolly Romero

Ryan Garcia wants a fight with Shakur Stevenson, saying Shakur is a “hater” who fights “scared.”

Ryan Garcia and Shakur Stevenson after their recent victories
Ryan Garcia wants a fight with Shakur Stevenson
Carmen Mandato and Steve Marcus/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Ryan Garcia got back in action with an eighth round knockout win over Oscar Duarte last night, and now has his sights set on a world title fight.

Asked if he’d be interested in fighting this weekend’s Devin Haney vs Regis Prograis winner, Garcia said he would be, and that his focus is a title — but it’s clear his real focus is, indeed, WBA titleholder Rolando “Rolly” Romero, whom he called out in the ring after the fight.

“I want Rolly, just to be honest,” he said. “I feel like it’s a fun fight. He’s an aggressive, crazy dude. The lead-up would be crazy. I want that. I mean, he has a title — technically. Let’s do it.”

Garcia (24-1, 20 KO) also threw some more shots at Shakur Stevenson, who had some criticisms of Garcia’s performance.

“What can I say? He broke the record for the least punches ever landed. That’s actually a hard thing to do! The fact that he did that was crazy. If he thinks that’s good, it is what it is,” Garcia said, referencing Stevenson’s recent, highly-criticized fight with Edwin De Los Santos.

“I fought a guy with power but I didn’t back down. I went right to him, stood my ground, moved, I did it all. He only showed one thing, which was moving around. His hand wasn’t hurt, his coach was telling him to throw it. Let’s stop that narrative right now.

“He’s just been a hater since the amateurs, for real. And I want to fight him, I’ll beat his ass, I promise you that. I’ve been in the ring with him. He’s cool, but he’s scared all the time. Scared, scared, scared. In a pro fight, it’s not gonna work.”

More from Ryan Garcia:

On Oscar Duarte

“His power was strong. I was really surprised about his chin. In the first round, I was catching him clean, and it looked like he was just eatin’ ‘em. I was, like, ‘Damn! This dude can eat some shots.’ First, second round, I thought he was gonna go by the third, but he kept putting more pressure on, and I had to try to stop his momentum somehow.

“He was a tough fighter. I knew he was gonna be tough. ... I fought in there. I had a fight with some grit and found a knockout. I think I did good, especially for my first fight with Derrick.”

On Duarte’s power

“This dude does pack a punch. He’s a lot slower than me, but every time he hits you, it feels like a rock. ... I’m not worried about it, I take a good shot, I took a good uppercut. But if I want to be a champion, I gotta go through moments (and) a little bit of adversity. My whole career, I didn’t really have, ever, any real adversity, except for the Tank fight.”

“This was scarier than fighting Tank. He had a hard punch. His punch was hard. That dude hit me so hard in the back of the head. It don’t look hard, but it is hard. I was more worried in this fight than against Tank. That was a boxing match, he’s moving around, whatever. But this fight I was actually, like, ‘Oh, shit, this dude’s trying to knock my ass out.’ And he has the power to knock you out. I had to be cautious.”

On Derrick James’ advice in the corner

“He was pretty adamant, like, ‘Why aren’t you using your legs? He’s gonna open up.’ And I was trying to stay there and smother him to stop his attack and soften him up a little bit. He was, like, overly aggressive, I wanted to take some steam off his shots. But then he keeps throwing, so I start moving again and locking in with my trainer. And (Derrick) was right, he fell into a hook.”

On whether James gave him the shoulder roll

“Derrick told me never to do that. [laughing] He was, like, ‘Don’t do that shit! You ain’t Mayweather!’ He’ll never admit that, but he did say that. I was just doing it, like, let me see if this works. It kinda did, he couldn’t really hit me for two or three rounds, then he figured it out and I’m, like, ‘Forget this. I gotta go back to being me.’”

On when he’ll fight next

“I want to get back in March. Inactivity really cursed me. I’ve been boxing since I was 17 in the pros, and I don’t know how many (long) breaks. You’re not gonna become a better boxer that way.”

On whether he sees James as a long-term trainer

“I feel at home in Dallas with Derrick. We’re a great fit. I’m happy to be there and committed to it. I know Derrick believes me. I just love it there. I’m ready to keep on training. He’s a great trainer, and we worked so hard. I just want to keep training with him and see where that goes. He said I’m his last fighter. We’re gonna take it all the way ‘til the wheels fall off.”

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