Ryan Garcia vs. Oscar Duarte Odds, Pick & Prediction: ‘King’ Ready for His Comeback? (Saturday, December 2)
Cris Esqueda/Golden Boy/Getty Images. Pictured: Boxers Ryan Garcia and Oscar Duarte
Ryan Garcia vs. Oscar Duarte Odds
Before we jump into the updated odds and my Ryan Garcia vs. Oscar Duarte prediction and pick for Saturday, let's start with the most important thing.
This is a real fight for Ryan Garcia.
Garcia (23-1, 19 KOs) enters the bout with Oscar Duarte Jurado as his comeback contest following his high-profile seventh-round TKO loss to Gervonta Davis in April.
Garcia has also since switched trainers and has been working with Derrick James, who famously trains Errol Spence Jr., Jermell Charlo and Anthony Joshua.
The belief is that he summoned James to help clean up his defensive holes while accentuating his killer instinct.
Duarte (26-1-1, 21 KOs) is not some overmatched pushover standing across the ring, though Garcia hopes that's how he'll make it appear.
Let's break down Garcia vs. Duarte, which streams on DAZN (8 p.m. ET).
Garcia vs. Duarte Analysis and Breakdown
Garcia has some of the fastest hands in boxing, which along with his social media, is what generally gets him the most attention. Garcia is trying to beat the allegations that he's not a serious boxer, and teaming with James should help.
Garcia will have a lot of advantages in the attributes across the board, but Duarte actually has slight advantages in height and reach, where he's 5-foot-9 with a 71-inch reach to Garcia's 5-foot-8 and a half with a 70-inch reach.
But Garcia projects to be bigger and stronger.
Garcia came up fighting at super featherweight and lightweight, but this fight is going to be contested at super lightweight, which may prove to be his more comfortable weight class. Hence the weight-clause controversy ahead of his 136-pound bout with Gervonta Davis.
Garcia, 25, has grown into his body more and is expected to contend at 140, where he knocked out Javier Fortuna in July 2022 – his most recent win, and in my opinion, his most impressive one.
Duarte has dabbled at super lightweight multiple times in his career but had firmly been a lightweight for most of it.
The 27-year-old has finishing power.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) December 2, 2023
However, Garcia will have room to use his speed between Duarte's looping shots, which could take a while to land on his opponent.
Garcia hasn't beaten a murderers' row of opponents, but his resume dwarfs Duarte to this point. Garcia has wins over a former champion in Fortuna plus former world title challengers Luke Campbell and Francisco Fonseca (no relation).
Duarte's best win is against… Alex Martin? D'Angelo Keyes? Former world champion Roger Gutierrez three years before becoming a world champion while he had two losses prior?
Saturday night is a stage for Duarte to prove himself as much as it is a stage for Garcia to reassure everyone else that he's a superstar waiting to happen (in the ring).
Garcia vs. Duarte Pick
I'm betting Garcia's skill wins out. I have questions about his chin, and I'd say that if this proves to be a trap fight in which Duarte gets the upset, it would be by knockout and not by decision (which is +580 on FanDuel and sprinkle-worthy enough).
But I think Garcia knocks out Duarte, which I'll bet at -128 at FanDuel as of this writing.
I think Garcia's speed will prove to be too much as he finds the openings to tag the offensively-minded Duarte in between combinations. James should help Garcia clean up some of his defensive habits, like famously dropping his hand when throwing certain power shots, which ultimately got him dropped against Davis, and, previously, Campbell.
Duarte will also look to land on Garcia's body, which Davis did successfully en route to the aforementioned stoppage.
But I think Garcia's ability wins out and that we leave the night ultimately impressed by this comeback performance. Anything less is ultimately a disappointment, and he knows that.
The Pick: Ryan Garcia via KO (-128 at FanDuel)