Boxing star Ryan Garcia will return in a junior welterweight fight against Oscar Duarte on Dec. 2 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya told ESPN on Monday.
The fight will be streamed on DAZN, and it comes one week before Devin Haney challenges Regis Prograis for the WBC junior welterweight title on DAZN PPV.
Garcia, 25, will be competing for the first time since he was TKO’d by Gervonta Davis — the first loss of Garcia’s pro career — in the seventh round of their April fight. That bout took place at a 136-pound catchweight, but Garcia (23-1, 19 KOs) now will campaign at 140 pounds, where his last two fights before “Tank” Davis took place.
The matchup with Duarte will also be Garcia’s first with Derrick James, who was ESPN’s 2022 Trainer of the Year, leading his corner.
“Here you have a guy [Duarte] who’s coming off 11 KOs in a row,” De Le Hoya said. “There’s a guy who’s a power puncher who’s going to come forward and make Ryan fight. It’s the proper fight after a knockout loss to Gervonta.”
Garcia, who fights out of Southern California, is still seeking his first world title. Later this month, he’ll enter mediation with Golden Boy Promotions as the sides attempt to resolve a dispute. Among the issues: Garcia claims his promotional deal to compete on pay-per-view platforms besides DAZN wasn’t honored.
According to Garcia’s demand letter sent to Golden Boy in June, the fighter was advised that his April superfight against Davis “could not happen unless it was broadcast on DAZN because of an exclusive agreement Golden Boy had separately negotiated with DAZN.”
The PPV fight against Davis was broadcast by Showtime — a broadcast partner of PBC (Davis’ promoter). DAZN also carried the fight on its streaming service and was paid a $1.25 million fee to step aside as the exclusive broadcaster, of which $120,000 Garcia personally paid to DAZN, per the letter.
Despite the disagreement and pending mediation, Garcia and De La Hoya were able to finalize this fight against Duarte to keep Garcia’s career moving.
“It’s business as usual,” De La Hoya told ESPN last month. “We have a couple of pending issues that should not impede any type of progress moving forward. I truly feel that we’re going to get this behind us and then move on with his career.”
Duarte, meanwhile, presents a chance for Garcia to bounce back from his first career loss and build some momentum heading into a pivotal 2024. Duarte (26-1-1, 21 KOs) has won 11 fights since his only career loss, all by KO.
The 27-year-old Mexican fighter, who competes at 135 pounds, will make a major jump in class for the Garcia bout.
Garcia’s career-best win remains a seventh-round TKO of Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell in January 2021, when Garcia survived a knockdown.
With an impressive showing over Duarte, Garcia appears poised for more marquee fights after the big business he delivered with Davis in April. Garcia said on social media that he earned $30 million for that fight.
“We’re looking to do a major, major fight with Ryan, possibly around Super Bowl weekend,” De La Hoya said. “I would love to talk to Bob [Arum] to see what’s going on with him and Teofimo [Lopez], but there’s other options as well.”