Promoter Oscar De La Hoya said it was too early to chart out Ryan Garcia’s next steps after his stoppage win Saturday night over Oscar Duarte.
De La Hoya, the head of Golden Boy Promotions, was also quick to praise his high-profile client, with whom he has been on increasingly hostile terms. Their ruptured relationship overshadowed the proceedings leading up to Saturday night, with Garcia publicly accusing De La Hoya and Golden Boy partner Bernard Hopkins of rooting against him.
Garcia, 25, wound up stopping Mexico’s Duarte in eight rounds in their scheduled 143-pound bout at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
“He did what he had to do,” De La Hoya told reporters after the fight. “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.”
After the fight, Garcia called out Rolando Romero, the WBA 140-pound titlist, to a match. It is not clear if that fight can happen anytime soon as Romero is connected to Premier Boxing Champions, a rival outfit of Golden Boy.
De La Hoya demurred when asked of Garcia’s next steps.
“I don’t know,” De La Hoya said. “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.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.