Ryan Garcia could’ve taken on an easier, or a “safer” opponent in his first fight back after losing for the first time, this by stoppage to Tank Davis, but Garcia got the job done last night against Oscar Duarte. With so much swirling around him prior to last night’s fight – Oscar De La Hoya questioning Garcia’s mental state, Bernard Hopkins suggesting Garcia might want to think about retiring – Garcia did well to remain focused.
25 year old “KingRy” scored the 8th round stoppage, in a fight that was contested at a catch weight of 143 pounds, and he immediately called out Rolly Romero, who holds the full WBA belt at 140. Romero, a trash-talker of the highest order, has already responded, saying he would KO Garcia, 24-1(20) in ultra-quick time. But fans who have actually seen Romero fight, not just listen to him talk, will feel very strongly that a different outcome will be seen if and when these two do fight.
Romero looked absolutely awful in being pretty much gifted the WBA belt via the disgracefully premature stoppage job ref Tony Weeks pulled when Romero, way behind on all cards, got the win over Ismael Barrios back in May. Barrios, unhurt and pushed down, was then hit by nothing as Weeks astonishingly dived in. Since then, Romero has not fought (Barrios was to have fought O’Hara Davies for the WBA interim belt last night, with visa issues forcing the fight to be delayed).
In short, Romero is one of the most fortunate world champions we have seen in many a year. To my mind, Garcia, if he gets his wish and gets his hands on Rolly, wipes him out quickly.
But Garcia, a huge draw with a ton of followers, has other options if he cannot get the currently 15-1(13) Romero into the ring.
If Haney can take Regis Prograis’ WBC 140 pound title this coming Saturday (in what is a fascinating fight), maybe Haney will look at facing Garcia in a title defence in the future. One thing is sure, Haney’s lightweight days are behind him.
Stevenson needs to get himself an exciting big win, and maybe Garcia, with his style, would allow Stevenson the opportunity. Stevenson recently stated on X how a fight between himself and Garcia “could be made next week.” Stevenson also declared how he would “stand in front of you all night long, I promise.”
Lopez did turn down an offer to fight Garcia, feeling the money he was being offered was far too low. But things change, and if he is unable to get the other big fights he has his eyes on, maybe Lopez will change his mind and agree to fight Garcia.