Oscar Duarte made it clear in two different languages that he is ready to rise to the occasion this weekend.
“I feel good. This is my moment, this is my time,” Duarte told Golden Boy Promotions host and commentator Beto Duran in perfect English, moments after making weight for his bout versus Ryan Garcia. “I’m ready for this Saturday. Come Saturday, I’m going to win.”
Chihuahua’s Duarte clocked in at a career-heaviest 142.8 pounds for their bout above the junior welterweight limit, which airs live on DAZN this Saturday from Toyota Center in Houston. He was fine with the move up the scale, as it meant an opportunity to add by far the biggest name of his career to his resume.
“It’s a great rival and I want to fight this best,” insisted Duarte, who reverted back to his native Spanish tongue to properly get across the message he wanted to send. “Ryan Garcia made a big mistake choosing me. It’s going to be a great fight.”
Garcia (23-1, 19KOs) fights for the first time since his lone career defeat, a seventh-round knockout to Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (29-0, 27KOs) in their 136-pound catchweight fight on April 22 in Las Vegas. The event marked the third straight contest above the lightweight limit for Garcia, now an aspiring junior welterweight contender who was right at the modified 143-pound contracted limit for this weekend’s headliner.
Duarte (26-1-1, 21KOs) has settled in nicely in the 135-pound division, where he owns a current eleven-fight knockout streak. He is currently a +300 betting underdog according to bet365 sportsbook, which lists Victorville, California’s Garcia as a -400 favorite. Duarte knew his role headed into this clash and applied it to his training.
“The confidence comes from my preparation,” insisted Duarte. This training camp is the best time that I’ve had as a pro and I’m going to show the world that I’m ready.
“ I promise by [Saturday night], everyone will know Oscar Duarte.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox