Ryan Garcia is ready to bounce back from his recent loss when he takes on Oscar Duarte this Saturday night, December 2, at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
This Saturday’s Ryan Garcia vs. Oscar Duarte event will be shown live on DAZN at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Garcia (23-1, 19 KOs) says he’s not bothered by his defeat against Gervonta Davis last April because he wasn’t as committed or as sharp for that fight as he is now.
The weight stipulations, inactivity, and delay of the fight with Tank wound up undermining the 25-year-old Ryan.
This Saturday, Ryan won’t need to worry about the weight for his fight against the capable #9 WBO lightweight contender Duarte for their fight at 140.
Duarte is the B-side, so he won’t be able to game the system by draining Ryan with a double whammy of 136-lb catchweight and a rehydration clause, as we saw in his fight with Tank Davis.
It’s Ryan’s fault for agreeing to those things; if he’d stood his ground, Tank and his promoters at Mayweather Promotions would have caved in because they had no great options for big-money fights in the 135-lb division without taking a major risk by fighting Vasily Lomachenko, Devin Haney & Shakur Stevenson, which they weren’t going to do.
Ryan Garcia ready to dominate 140-lb division
“Not at all. You got to remember that after 2021, when I beat Luke Campbell, I had to go on my mental health break, and from there, I took many steps backward,” said Ryan Garcia to Brian Custer’s site when asked if his last fight against Gervonta Davis was ‘the best, most committed Ryan Garcia.’
“It didn’t have an effect on me. It just didn’t feel like it was me,” said Ryan on how his defeat against Tank affected him. “I didn’t feel like I lost. I just feel like a version of me lost that wasn’t how I am as a fighter and how sharp I am,” said Ryan.
It would be a good idea for Ryan to put Tank Davis out of his mind and forget about fighting that guy for two or three years because if he’s serious about wanting to get his revenge, he’s not going to do it if he faces him in his next fight after Duarte.
That said, if this is just about Ryan getting a second payday against Tank, he should go ahead, but his career will be in the mud after another knockout loss. It’s a tradeoff. Ryan will make a bunch of money for the fight, but it’ll end badly for him and hurt his long-term earning potential.
“I’m a way better fighter, and it didn’t have that kind of salt on it. I lost, but I felt nothing really mattered to me,” said Ryan. “I was so depleted and defeated eternally of other things. The weight cut didn’t help, and all the other things I had to go through. I just didn’t feel it was me at all.”
It sounds like Ryan has convinced himself that his loss to Tank resulted from being drained and not mentally with it, which is a delusion on his part because that’s not why he lost the fight. He’s not in the same class as Tank Davis, and his prior experience as a pro hadn’t prepared him for this type of fighter.
“That’s why it didn’t have an effect on me, but it did wake up some hunger in me because two months later, I felt, ‘Oh, shoot, I lost. No matter what happened, I lost, and I don’t like losing,'” said Ryan.
“So, it woke up that competitor in me, and it drove me to to this is where I am at now. This is where it all started.
“It’s tough, but I feel like I’m the better fighter [than Tank]. I don’t care what anybody says. I know I’m the better fighter, and if I get my rematch, I’m going to beat him. Regardless of the outcome of the first fight, I know I can come back, and I can beat him,” said Ryan.
If Ryan believes he’s a better fighter than Tank Davis, why is he fighting Duarte, a fringe-level lightweight rather than a 140-pounder like Gary Antuanne Russell, Arnold Barboza Jr., or Subriel Matias?
Ryan could have picked any one of those fighters, and they’d have gladly faced him, and if he really had the talent to beat Tank, he’d beat those guys.
“So, my whole thing is to win a world title at 140, and dominate at 140 and 147, both of those weight classes, and earn my spot,” said Ryan. “I want to earn it. I want to beat some guys that I have to go through, and if it has to be Teofimo Lopez, and if it has to be Devin Haney, whoever. I will do it to get that rematch [with Gervonta] to show him I can beat him,” said Ryan Garcia.
Kingry lost himself
“I lost myself, I lost who I was as a fighter. I couldn’t even remember the things that I know how to do in the ring,” said Ryan Garcia. “Making that comeback, I felt a little rushed into it. I still had really bad habits for my mental health issues.
“I went into drinking a little bit and doing whatever I wanted. I lost the love for everything. I came back because I had to. I was wasting time, and time was ticking. I willed myself back into it,” said Ryan.
What Ryan should have done was listen to his promoter Oscar De La Hoya, who wanted him to face Mercito Gesta in a tune-up fight to get him ready for the Gervonta clash, as he’d been out of the ring for nine much since his victory over Javier Fortuna in 2022.
Ryan needed a solid opponent to prepare himself for Tank Davis, but he opted to jump straight into that clash without any warm-up on top of the weight stipulations that the Baltimore native’s handlers threw in to increase their chances of winning.
To say that Ryan never stood a chance of winning is putting it mildly. The deck was stacked against him the moment he agreed to take the fight.
“I got back into it with Tagoe, and obviously, that wasn’t my best performance because I was still figuring things out,” said Ryan. “I started feeling my rhythm again when I fought Fortuna, and I felt a little sharper. I still wasn’t my sharpest, but I wanted to get into another fight.
“I wanted to fight Tank, and they iced me for a whole year. They kept saying, ‘You’re going to fight. You’re going to fight. If you take another fight, we can’t fight you.’ They said it was going to be in December. So a lot of that stuff was throwing me off.
“I took myself back to when was I my sharpest, when was at my best? I looked back to my younger days. So, okay, I have to get that commitment. So, I am fully committed. I trained with Derrick [James] regardless if there was a fight coming. I was with him in Vegas for the Spence fight.”
The early success that Ryan had in his career will help him against Duarte, but probably not if he chooses to fight Devin Haney or one of the killers in the 140-lb division like Subriel Matias, Teofimo Lopez, or Regis Prograis. Duarte is more of a second-tier level fighter, so he’s not going to prepare Ryan to fight those guys.
“I was just traveling wherever he went. Not only that, I was scratching out a lot of the habits that I had,” said Ryan. “I just put my full mental focus on boxing and was committed. Now, I’m so sharp. It’s actually disgusting how sharp I am. I could literally cut somebody with one of my punches. It’s disgusting.
“I’m just happy where I am right now. I have that peace inside. Nothing can get to me because I know where I am right now as a person and as a fighter. That’s what I mean by I wasn’t as committed,” said Ryan.