De La Hoya Remains Coy On Garcia’s Future Post-Duarte Victory

December 4, 2023
3 months
De La Hoya Remains Coy On Garcia's Future Post-Duarte Victory

Oscar De La Hoya refused to get caught up in the talk over Ryan Garcia’s future as he praised the fighter for his win over Oscar Duarte

Garcia stopped the Mexican in the eighth round to make a successful start under his new trainer, Derrick James. Coming into the fight, Garcia had increased the pressure on himself after his vocal outbursts towards De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins.

The fighter questioned Hopkins’ comments that he may not box again if the performance against Duarte was not good enough. At the same time, Garcia lashed back at De La Hoya, who defended the comments on the basis that they had been taken out of context. And given that Garcia is in a legal battle with Golden Boy over an alleged breach of contract, his future with the organization is up in the air. But for now, De La Hoya simply took his time to congratulate the fighter. 

De La Hoya On Garcia

“He did what he had to do. That’s exactly what you expect, a good fight. Oscar’s a tough guy. That’s why I was always saying, ‘Man, I’m so surprised that he picked him because Oscar’s strong.’ But Ryan did what he had to do. He was using everything that he was working on in the gym. The distance, the jab, the right hand, boxing. Proud of him, man,” De La Hoya said

This naturally begs the question: Where does Garcia go next? As of now, there is a chance that a fight against either Shakur Stevenson or Rolando Romero comes up next. The former is the WBC champion at 135 pounds.

However, he has indicated his willingness to face Garcia at a catchweight following their recent verbal exchanges on social media. Meanwhile, the latter is the current WBA champion at 140 pounds, thus giving Garcia the chance to become a world champion. Either way, there are big fights out there. And yet, De La Hoya remained coy on what the next steps would be given Garcia’s relationship with Golden Boy.

What’s Next?

“I don’t know [what’s next]. I haven’t even thought about it. We’ll have to go back to the drawing board. As his promoter for many years to come, we’ll figure it out and figure out a plan. Then we’ll go back to the drawing board. I’m proud of him, man. I’m proud of every fighter. Being inside the ring, fighting, you feel so much emotion. Outside the ring, a big fight, especially after you lose, you come back and you think everybody is your enemy and then after you win everything’s great. Bro, I’ve been there,” De La Hoya

The win was the most important thing that Garcia needed. And since it came with a knockout, it was exactly the type of performance that was needed. However, the boxer will have to tighten up his defense. Duarte had shown that Garcia’s body could be targeted as a shot in the seventh round had Garcia hurt. But the victory is a step in the right direction. And that is the most important thing.

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