HOUSTON, TEXAS – Ryan Garcia is back in the winner's circle.
The star fighter bounced back from his lone career defeat with an eighth-round knockout of Mexico’s Oscar Duarte Saturday night in their DAZN main event Saturday evening from Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
What Happened in Ryan Garcia Win Over Duarte
Garcia used his jab effectively in the opening round in his first bout with Derrick James, the 2022 Trainer of the Year.
The tactics proved to be impactful as Duarte, who entered the fight on an 11-bout win streak, all by knockout, was kept at bay.
Duarte connected with a counter left hook in round two after Garcia overextended his jab and dropped his right hand.
This was the same mistake that led to a knockdown in his bout with Gervonta Davis in their April Showtime Pay-Per-View main event that generated 1.2 million buys.
Garcia remained on his feet and outboxed Duarte for the remainder of the round.
Garcia mixed in some solid right hands behind his jab to control the third round.
Duarte was unable to let his hands go and resorted to dirty tactics.
Late in the action, he trapped Garcia in a corner and hit him in the back, which led to a warning from referee James Green.
The fouls spilled over into round four. Both fighters were warned for low blows, while Garcia continued to control the action, and Duarte's team urged their man to get back into the fight.
Duarte took the advice to heart as he connected with a fight-high 20 punches in the fifth round, albeit Garcia landed the cleaner shots, including a right uppercut that knocked Duarte back on his feet.
The sixth round was more competitive, but Garcia reverted back to what worked early in the fight, distance and timing.
He connected with a counter left hook, which Duarte took well. However, Garcia appeared to have been hurt from a body shot.
Rather than clinching and putting himself in the lion's den, Garcia got on his bicycle and stayed away from Duarte, a tactic which drew boos from the pro-Garcia crowd.
That all changed with one punch. Garcia closed the show in the eighth round when he drilled Duarte with a counter left hook that buckled his knees.
With Duarte in serious trouble, Garcia poured it on with an uppercut and a left hook as Duarte went down to a knee.
Duarte, who fell to 26-2-1, 21 KOs, tried to rise after Green reached the count of nine, but it was too late as he waved off the contest.
Garcia (24-1, 20 KOs) scored his first win since July 16, 2022, when he knocked out Javier Fortuna in the sixth round of their 140-pound bout in Los Angeles.
According to Compubox, Garcia landed 70 of 300 punches (23.3%) and Duarte landed 69 of 287 punches (24%).
It was a good result for Garcia, but it wasn't the most impressive. He struggled for major portions of the bout against a guy who has faced nothing but journeymen.
It'll be interesting to see what Golden Boy Promotions has in store for him in 2024.
Floyd Schofield Jr. was a wrecking machine. The unbeaten Austin native bulldozed Tijuana’s Ricardo Lopez, scoring four knockouts to force referee Joe Rodriguez to halt their scheduled 10-round lightweight affair in the first round.
In Other Bouts
Middleweight Shane Mosley Jr. (21-4, 12 KOs) picked up a sixth-round TKO victory over Joshua Conley (17-6-1, 11 KOs) in a scheduled 10-rounder.
Super middleweight prospect Darius Fulghum (9-0, 9 KOs) scored a second-round TKO against Pachino Hill (8-5-1, 6 KOs) in a slated eight-round contest.