Ryan Garcia stopped Oscar Duarte in the eighth round on Saturday night.
Ryan Garcia didn’t have his absolute best performance tonight, but got the knockout win over Oscar Duarte in Houston all the same.
Garcia improved to 24-1 (20 KO) with an eighth round KO of Duarte (26-2-1, 21 KO) in their 143 lb catchweight fight in tonight’s DAZN main event.
Garcia, 25, was working with new trainer Derrick James for the first time this evening, and was tactically questionable, no doubt about that, at times employing a shoulder roll that just wasn’t doing him any favors, and staying out of the action more than we’re used to seeing, which also didn’t seem to be to his benefit.
But the end result is one Garcia and James will like. “Kingry” caught Duarte with a sharp left hook that wobbled the Mexican underdog badly, and Garcia followed up with more shots that put Duarte down against the ropes.
Referee James Green got in close for the count, and thought the 27-year-old Duarte did get up at about nine-and-a-half, he called the fight there. For one thing, referees often will say you didn’t really beat the count with that sort of wait, and for another, Duarte was still pretty shaky when he got to his feet.
There will be some controversy about it, probably, in part because it’s Ryan Garcia getting the nod in the situation, but there shouldn’t really be much. It was not unusual.
Garcia said it was a “great performance.”
“He was a strong fighter. He took a good punch,” Garcia said of Duarte. “He’s a Mexican fighter like me, he’s tough. I hit him with some hard shots and he just kept coming. I started using my legs ... and it literally (opened up the shot). I have a killer instinct; sometimes, when I hurt somebody that bad, I just be crackin’ ‘em, but it was pretty basic technique.”
Garcia denied that he was “protecting” his right side when he started moving around more, and gave compliments to trainer James.
“I’m committing to becoming a world champion,” Garcia said, before calling out WBA titleholder Rolly Romero.
Garcia officially led on scores of 68-65, 68-65, and 69-64 at the time of the stoppage. Bad Left Hook unofficially had Garcia ahead on scores of 67-66 and 68-65.