Pick It: TBRB #10 Ryan Garcia vs. Oscar Duarte (Saturday, DAZN, 8:00 PM EST)   

The gap between stardom and accomplishment has never been wider than it is with the case of 25-year old Ryan Garcia (23-1, 19 KO). Garcia has never won a title, wasn’t a World or Olympic amateur champion, and has less than a handful of genuinely notable wins.

What he does have is evident talent, charisma, and savvy cultivation of social media. It was enough to make him one half of the richest fight of 2023 so far and under normal circumstances this return from a knockout loss to Tank Davis would feel like a standard get-right affair. Turmoil between Garcia and his promotional team has added some spice and 27-year old Oscar Duarte (26-1-1, 21 KO) might be just a bit better than the sort of foe usually tabbed for these assignments. Durate has never been stopped, has a single split decision loss over four years ago, and enters with eleven stoppage wins in a row. Could this fight hold some surprises? 

Additional Shows to Watch For

Friday - Sturm vs. Altay (DAZN, 12:30 PM EST)

44-year old Felix Sturm (43-6-3, 18 KO) was once a fixture in the middleweight division. Those years are long past but he’s 3-1 since returning from a four-year absence in 2020. Now competing at light heavyweight, Sturm has an immediate rematch on tap here. 39-year old Sukru Altay (15-3, 14 KO) felt like he got short shrift on the cards the first time. He can attempt to amend that here.

Friday - Gamez vs. Coria (DAZN, 8:00 PM EST)

23-year old lightweight Omar Gamez (17-1, 12 KO) will attempt to rebound from his first defeat in this main event. 25-year old opponent Luis Coria (15-5, 7 KO) has never been stopped and is riding a three-fight win streak.

Friday - Cuevas vs. Aguas (ESPN+, 9:00 PM EST)

Welterweights headline in this affair. 29-year old Derrieck Cuevas (29-1-1, 18 KO) has won three in a row since a decision loss in 2020. 33-year old Marlon Aguas (13-1, 9 KO) has won five in a row, three by stoppage, since picking up his lone defeat. 

Saturday - Conlan vs. Gill (DAZN, 2:00 PM EST)

32-year old featherweight Michael Conlan (18-2, 9 KO) had star hopes coming out of the Olympics for his native Northern Ireland. It hasn’t quite worked out that way. Conlan has been stopped twice in his last four fights, brutally in five rounds of a title challenge of Luis Lopez in his last start. Jordan Gill (27-2-1, 8 KO) isn’t much of a puncher and was stopped in four by Kiko Martinez last time out. This is there to be a rehab assignment. Will Conlan respond after such a devastating defeat.

Saturday - Sadjo vs. Buonarrigo (DAZN, 2:30 PM EST)

Super middleweights get the spotlight with eyes on an undefeated banger from France. 33-year old Kevin Sadjo (20-0, 18 KO) goes by “The Phenom” and he’s racking up the knockout counts. 28-year old Abraham Buonarrigo (12-4, 9 KO) has yet to suffer a knockout loss. Can he last the scheduled twelve with Sadjo?

Saturday - Green vs. Alexander (FiteTV, 7:00 PM EST)

Don King has another card this year, one of his busiest in recent vintage. The headliners will be in the middleweight division. 30-year old Ian Green (17-2, 11 KO) has won five in a row since a lone stoppage loss and will look to keep his momentum going. 37-year old Vaughn Alexander (18-7-1, 11 KO) enters off a knockout win. 

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at roldboxing@hotmail.com