Ryan Garcia took a significant step forward with KO

A critical look at the past week in boxing


Was it a brilliant performance? No. Was it a significant step in the right direction? Absolutely. Ryan Garcia put his knockout loss to Gervonta Davis farther behind him on Saturday night in Houston, stopping durable, but limited Oscar Duarte (26-2-1, 21 KOs) in eight rounds. The popular 140-pound contender had some trouble with Duarte, who can take a punch and is difficult to discourage. However, Garcia (24-1, 21 KOs) finally caught the Mexican with the perfect punch – a left hook to the temple – and was able to put him away, reminding us of what he’s capable of under new trainer Derrick James and making a solid statement to kick off a new phase in his career. I didn’t think the performance was perfect but it was particularly good given the pressure to win after the Davis disaster and his bizarre public rift with his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions. And afterward he didn’t get ahead of himself, which I thought was a positive. He called out titleholder Rolando Romero and mentioned Devin Haney but also said he needs to take one step at a time and continue to improve. I think the best of Ryan Garcia is in his future.


Garcia is an attractive opponent for any of the top 140-pounders because of his massive social media presence and now a high-profile comeback victory. I think matchups with Romero, beltholders Teofimo Lopez and Subriel Matias or next week’s Haney-Regis Prograis winner are legitimate strictly from a boxing standpoint. Garcia at his best can give any of the above problems because of his combination of skill, speed and power. … Garcia was leading Duarte on all three scorecards after seven rounds, 69-64, 68-65 and 68-65. He did a good job of winning rounds with quick, accurate power shots and movement that made it difficult for Duarte to get anything done. The loser had some success when Garcia became more stationery in Rounds 5 and 6 (he won both on two cards) but he went back to moving after that, which made Duarte’s mission impossible. … The fighters had similar CompuBox stats. Garcia outlanded his opponent 70-69 overall but Duarte had a 62-55 edge in power shots. Those numbers added up to nothing, however, Garcia clearly landed the cleaner punches, including the one that led to Duarte’s demise. …

I have to give Shane Mosley Jr. credit. I wrote early in his professional career that the son of Hall of Famer Shane Mosley didn’t appear to have the tools to succeed. I was wrong. He has become a solid fighter, which was evident again on the Garcia-Duarte card. Mosley (21-4, 12 KOs) stopped Joshua Conley (17-6-1, 11 KOs) after six rounds. Mosley, who is ranked at 160 pounds by all four major sanctioning bodies, might never win a world title but it’s a good bet he’ll fight for one. And I don’t think he’ll embarrass himself when he does. Shane Sr. should be proud. … Golden Boy appears to have an excellent young contender in Floyd Schofield, a 21-year-old 130-pounder from New Jersey. Schofield made a strong statement in only 1 minute, 51 seconds on the Garcia-Duarte card, putting Ricardo Lopez (17-8-3, 12 KOs) down four times before the fight was stopped in less than a full round. Schofield (16-0, 12 KOs) is skillful, quick and powerful. I look forward to seeing what he can do against next-level opposition.


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