Adrien Broner was apparently in the running for Ryan Garcia’s first fight since his knockout loss to Gervonta Davis.
According to Golden Boy President Eric Gomez, the company was seriously considering Broner as an opponent for Garcia’s debut fight at 140 pounds, but a deal could not be consummated because the 34-year-old native of Cincinnati wanted a “tune-up” first.
Instead, the 25-year-old Garcia is set to take on Oscar Duarte on Dec. 2 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
The fight marks Garcia’s first since his seventh-round knockout loss to Gervonta Davis in their high-profile lightweight fight in April at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“I give Ryan a lot of credit,” Gomez said on The 3 Knockdown Rule. “We were going through names and there was a possibility at one point that we were going to go after Adrien Broner, which is a great name for him. It’s a great name and we had some conversations with [Broner’s promoter] Don King. Don King spoke to [Golden Boy founder] Oscar [De La Hoya] directly, ‘c’mon let’s get it on.’
“But for whatever reason Broner didn’t want it at this time. Broner said he was going to do a tune-up fight first, happy to explore it early next year.”
Broner signed with King earlier this year after being aligned with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions. Broner’s last fight was a 10-round decision over Bill Hutchinson in a welterweight bout at Casino Miami Jai Alai in Miami, Florida.
Gomez said he and his team were surprised by Garcia’s suggestion of Duarte (26-1-1, 21 KOs). The 27-year-old Mexican is known for his hard-charging style and is on an 11-fight knockout streak.
“So, as we were going through names, Duarte’s name came up and I was very, very surprised that they brought it up and it came from Ryan,” Gomez said. “So, there’s something that Ryan sees. Again, these fighters have their own vision and they see things that we don’t see. He wanted Duarte and he feels like he can exploit that. I can see, Ryan’s got fast hands and Duarte can be hit but he’s also got heavy hands and he’s very, very dangerous.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.