Saturday, December 09, 2023  |


Ryan Garcia returns against Oscar Duarte on December 2 in San Antonio

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Fighters Network

Ryan Garcia has secured an official date for his return to the ring.

Garica will face hard-punching lightweight fringe contender Oscar Duarte on December 2, Golden Boy Promotions announced on Tuesday. No official site and city was mentioned in the official press release, but ESPN’s Mike Coppinger stated the fight will take place at the AlamoDome in San Antonio, Texas.

The Garcia-Duarte fight will headline a DAZN telecast.

“This is one of the reasons fight fans love Ryan,” said Oscar De La Hoya, who is the Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Instead of taking baby steps back after a hard-fought fight, he is returning against a guy with lethal power who doesn’t take a step backwards. Whoever emerges victorious is immediately in line for a shot against any of the world champions. Fans aren’t going to want to miss this one.”

Garcia is currently ranked No. 4 by The Ring at 135 pounds, but the Durate bout will take place in the junior welterweight division.

In his last fight on April 22, which was fought at a contract weight of 136 pounds, Garcia was dropped twice by Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis en route to a knockout loss in the seventh round.

The Davis-Garcia event garnered 1.2 million pay-per-view buys and generated a $22.8 million gate, which ranks amongst the top 5 best gates in Nevada boxing history.

Garcia (23-1, 19 knockouts), who resides in the Los Angeles area, is confident he could defeat a strong puncher in Duarte and hopes to contend in a very talent-rich junior welterweight division.

“I am so excited to announce that I will be fighting Oscar Duarte on December 2,” said Garcia, who is trained by Derrick James. “I’m back and feeling better and stronger than before. I wanted Duarte for me and for my fans. He’s tough and I’m ready to give people another show at my best weight again.

“Say whatever you want about Ryan Garcia, but I’m always going to give the fans what they want. Love you. See you December 2 on DAZN.”

Ryan and his new coach Derrick James. Photo from Garcia’s Instagram

The announcement comes before Garcia and Golden Boy Promotions enter mediation later this month. Both sides are attempting to settle a dispute, which centers around Garcia’s claim in his promotional contract that fighting on pay-per-view platforms besides DAZN was not honored. The Davis-Garcia fight aired on a Showtime Pay-Per-View telecast.

In his previous fight on July 16 of last year, Garcia dropped Javier Fortuna multiple times before Garcia won by knockout in the sixth round. The 25-year-old weighed in at 140 pounds for the fight.

Duarte (26-1-1, 21 knockouts), who resides in Parral, Mexico, last fought on May 27, winning by knockout after D’Angelo Keyes did not come out for round eight. Duarte had dropped Keyes twice during the fight.

Oscar Duarte. Photo credit: Tom Hogan/HoganPhotos/Golden Boy Promotions

Oscar Duarte. Photo credit by Tom Hogan/ HoganPhotos/ Golden Boy Promotions

Despite being a career lightweight, the 27-year-old might have a strength advantage over Garcia. Duarte has won his last 11 fights, all by knockout, since losing by split-decision to Adrien Estrella in February 2019.

Duarte is grateful for the opportunity to face Garcia and is confident he can pull off the upset win.

“I feel very happy and full of enthusiasm now that this fight against Ryan Garcia has been finalized,” said Duarte. “This is the opportunity of a lifetime. I want to thank Golden Boy for giving me this great opportunity. I am very grateful for the support of my entire team. Everyone can expect the very best version of Oscar Duarte. I am ready to win this fight. I will lift the name of Mexico up on high.”


Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]