Californian prospect Ryan Garcia (18-0 KO 15) will look to prove the doubters wrong as he faces off with tough Filipino Romero Duno (21-1 KO 16) in the early hours of Sunday morning. The fight will be the co-main event of the blockbuster showdown between Canelo Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev.
Ryan Garcia has faced his fair share of naysayers and trouble over the past few months. His September showdown with Avery Sparrow (10-1 KO 3) was cancelled at the weigh-in, after Sparrow was arrested by U.S. marshals after being accused of brandishing a firearm at a woman.
In the aftermath of this, Garcia was offered the Duno fight on 24-hours notice but allegedly turned down the fight citing his need of a bigger purse.
This decision to not take the fight brought out a feud between the young Garcia and his promoter Oscar De La Hoya, with the pair trading words in the press and De La Hoya openly questioning whether Garcia had the potential to become a World Champion. However, relations seem to be improving between promoter and fighter after Garcia penned a new contract extension with Golden Boy promotions.
Duno still fought on that September 14th bill where he forced Ivan Delgado (13-3-2 KO 6) to retire on his stool at the end of the 7th. After the contest Duno wore a shirt that implored Garcia to ‘stop running’ and now Duno will get his wish on a major stage.
Garcia was last seen in a boxing ring destroying tough veteran Jose Lopez (20-4-1 KO 14). Lopez was supposed to give the young star rounds and pressure him, but Garcia showed his punching power putting the veteran down towards the end of the second round. Lopez retired on his stool at the end of the second.
Osacr de la Hoya (L) and Ryan Garcia (R) in happier times
Garcia does have a large social media presence currently boasting 3.6 million followers on Instagram. However, after turning down the Duno contest, arguing with De La Hoya publicly and his closeness with Canelo a lot of fans have struggled to warm to the up and coming prospect. Fans have accused him of being greedy and in a sport filled with warriors, a boxer who is viewed as a ‘pretty boy’ will always struggle to get over with the fans.
Regardless of the lack of warmth from fans, Garcia has gone about his business well in the ring and will be looking to close in on a title shot with a win over Duno. ‘The flash’ has found himself ranked quite high with three of the four major governing bodies, finding himself 4th with the WBA, 7th with the WBO and 8th with the WBC. Duno does find himself ranked high with the WBO where he sits 4th and is also ranked at number 15th with the WBC.
This gives a major incentive for both men in this contest. Garcia will look towards a title shot at some point in 2020 and will also look to prove that he is worth the contract extension he was recently given by Golden Boy. For Duno, it is a chance to move towards a WBO title shot next year and move up the WBC rankings, whilst also taking some of the spotlight away from a young star with a huge presence. It is sure to be an intriguing contest between two young up and coming prospects who are ready to break out to be the next big thing.