Ryan “King Ry” Garcia (23-1, 19 KOs) makes his return to the ring this Saturday night for the first time since suffering his first career loss against Gervonta “Tank” Davis. The confident superstar took a leap of faith fighting Tank at a catchweight of 136 that included a 10-pound rehydration clause. The fight was competitive, with each fighter putting together dominating sequences. It was a body shot to the abdomen in the 7th round that ended the night for Garcia. Out of a tie-up he raised his hands and left his mid-section open for the shorter Davis. Tank capitalized with the counter left hand, Garcia stumbled back, paused, and eventually took a knee and couldn’t recover. Garcia out landed Davis 39-35 according to shostats, but the 2nd round knockdown had Tank in the lead prior to the KO. The sought after event was very successful, generating 1.2 million PPV buys and another 22.8 million in ticket sales.

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How will King Ry respond? Does he have any ill effects from that brutal body shot to the ribs? Will his shaky relationship with Golden Boy Promotions play any role on Saturday night?

Garcia faces off against Oscar Duarte (26-1-1, 21 KOs) at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, live on DAZN. The Mexican slugger Duarte is no trash can and shouldn’t be overlooked. Give Garcia credit for not handpicking a easy comeback fight, this is a legitimate matchup. If Ryan wants to get back to the big pay days and championship fights, it all starts Saturday night.

Fighters are often criticized for not accepting the big fight, Garcia should get some praise from the boxing community for not hand picking his first fight after a loss. Criticize all you want, he fought Tank Davis who is arguably the best P4P fighter in the world and is now taking another risk against a powerful and established Duarte. Will that risk pay off? It all starts with Saturday night.

Battle of the Baddest Preview – Boxing Guru (boxing-guru.com)

Garcia has all the intangibles to come back strong. He has the speed, power, confidence, and the following to remain a superstar in this sport for years to come. This will be his first fight under new trainer Derick James, King Ry did’nt seem to completely mesh with the older Joe Goosen. Keep an eye out for the in-fight communication between the two, the early pressure Duarte brings could have the corner shaky.

Prior to the two knockdowns against Tank, Luke Campbell was the only other opponent to drop Garcia.  After surviving a scare the second round where Campbell stunned him with a looping left hook to the chin, Garcia responded well and ended the fight with a brutal body shot. That was 2021 Ryan Garcia, if we see another early round knockdown on Saturday night how will he respond? Only time will tell.

The c0-main event of the night features undefeated Floyd “Kid Austin” Schofield (15-0, 11 KO’S) versus Ricardo Lopez.  Schofield is arguably the highest rated prospect in the GBP stable. At only 21-years-old, Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins have his back and want to move him quickly. Schofield was already gifted the sought after GBP necklace, which some fighters don’t get for years under the promotional name.

Rhodes has an awkward style as he likes to stay low and moves constantly, not always to his favor. The confidence from “Kid Austin” shines in and outside of the ring. To ensure that Schofield doesn’t get overly confident he has Ronnie Sheilds and Floyd Schofield Sr. as the top two corner men. Kid Austin suffered a brutal cut to his cheek in his last bout against Haskell Rhodes, the scar is still apparent and could create a problem is any headbutts or shots land correctly. Schofield showed some grit after the cut, licking the blood off his cheek as the referee ensured he was ok to continue.

The DAZN opener pairs hometown Darius Fulghum (8-0, 8KOs) against Pachino Hill (8-4-1). Fulghum, the former USA Olympian looks to keep his KO streak alive.  Expect a big warm welcome for Fulghum at the Target Center in Houston, Texas. Rounding out the DAZN broadcast is Shane Mosley Jr. (20-4, 11 KOs) against Joshua Conley (17-5-1 11KOs). Son of former world champion Shane Mosley looks to continue his hot streak in hopes of landing a championship opportunity down the line.

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Photo by: Golden Boy Promotions/ Cris Esqueda

 

 

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