Shakur Stevenson on Ryan Garcia: “I saw a lot of weakness in his game”

By Tim Compton - 12/03/2023 - Comments

WBC lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson didn’t hold back with his thoughts on Ryan Garcia’s eighth round knockout victory over Oscar Duarte last night, saying that the popular Kingry showed “A lot of weaknesses.”

Shakur noted that despite Ryan (24-1, 20 KOs) having a fighter that was essentially “tailor-made” for him in the slow-moving, slow-punching, low-punch output Duarte (26-2-1, 21 KOs), he was still utterly poor.

Two areas in Ryan’s game that Shakur saw as flawed:

  • No inside game: Ryan looked inept and useless on the inside, either holding or turning his back to Duarte while looking at the referee for help. It was submissive behavior on Ryan’s part, showing that he’s not a top-tier-level fighter.
  • Absence of a right hand: Shakur felt that Ryan didn’t know how to use his right hand, and rarely threw it during the fight, which is nothing new for him. Ryan’s right hand is similar to the useless arms of the T-Rex dinosaur. In other words, it’s a vestigial structure that is not a weapon. It’s unclear if there is a physical problem with Ryan’s right arm, as he’d never been able to use it.

Shakur says he saw no visible signs of improvement in Ryan Garcia’s game under his new coach, Derrick James, who has been praising nonstop for supposedly helping his game.

Basically, was the same one-dimensional fighter that he’d always been, throwing just left hands all night night. If anything, Ryan looked far worse in this fight compared to in the past because he was moving a lot, looking timid, clinching constantly, turning his back to Duarte, and using an illegal straight arm, which the referee allowed him to use without warning.

Shakur critiques Ryan Garcia’s performance

“It looked like he [Oscar Duarte] fought a tailor-made style for him,” said Shakur Stevenson to K.O. Artist Sports on his thoughts about Ryan Garcia’s fight last Saturday night in Houston, Texas.

“A guy [Duarte] coming straight forward with a high guard right in front of him. I think I saw a lot of weakness in his game,” Shakur continued about Ryan Garcia, who looked worse than awful against an ordinary fighter, Duarte, who wouldn’t last one round against a talented fighter like Subriel Matias.

Where Ryan’s coach, Derrick James, did a good job was picking Duarte for him to fight, as there were three fighters that Golden Boy Promotions offered to Kingry for the December 2nd fight date. According to Oscar De La Hoya, Derrick wanted Duarte.

Moving forward, if Derrick is going to be the one that continually picks Ryan Garcia’s opposition, it’s predictable that he’ll continue to play it safe because he knows his limitations all too well.

His [Ryan] inside game looked trash. His right hand looked really bad. It looked like he don’t really know how to throw his right hand,” said Shakur about how Ryan’s right hand looked weak, and it was rarely used during the fight.

There was no inside game by Ryan against Duarte because he was either holding or turning his back to him, then looking at the referee when he’d get clobbered.

Given how flawed Ryan looked, it was hard to believe that he was fighting in a main event because his style is more of a rudimentary amateur and not a good one at that.

“He had a style in front of him that really worked for him. You could clearly see,” said Shakur when reminded of a comment that he’d made to DAZN, telling them that all Ryan Garcia has is a left hand and nothing else in his offensive arsenal.

Where did Golden Boy find Duarte because he’s an awful fighter and not worth having on their stable? Why didn’t they stick William Zepeda in there with Ryan Garcia or Floyd Schofield? Those guys at least would have made it interesting to watch. If Golden Boy was going to pool from the 135 to pick 140-lb fighter Ryan Garcia’s opponent, why didn’t they pick one of those two to give DAZN subscribers their money’s worth?

“When that dude [Duarte] stepped to the opposite side, he [Ryan] wouldn’t throw his right hand,” said Shakur. “He’d be in a right here in a [Philly] shell, but he’d never let his right hand go to counter with a right hand at all.

“Ryan has been boxing his whole life. So he got the same style that he had as a little kid. Nothing different,” said Shakur when asked if he saw any improvement with Ryan Garcia with his new trainer, Derrick James. “I don’t see nothing different.”

There’s no way that Derrick will improve Ryan’s game for the better, and he’d be better off going back to training himself in his garage like he used to in the early days.

Get rid of Derrick and either train himself or crawl back to one of his old coaches, Eddy Reynoso or Joe Goosen and admit that he was wrong to let them go.

Teo by knockout. Teo is too skillful for him,” said Shakur when asked how a fight between Ryan and WBO light welterweight champion Teofimo Lopez plays out if they meet in February as being talked about.

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Last Updated on 12/03/2023