Home Boxing News Ryan Garcia promises to beat up “hater” Shakur Stevenson if they fight

Ryan Garcia promises to beat up “hater” Shakur Stevenson if they fight

Ryan Garcia (centre) with Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya

Junior welterweight contender Ryan Garcia 24-1 (20) has taken aim at rival Shakur Stevenson 21-0 (10), saying he would relish the opportunity to “beat his ass”.

The 25-year-old Garcia of Los Angeles is fresh off his eighth-round knockout victory over Oscar Duarte 26-2-1 (21) in their 143-pound catchweight bout at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas in Saturday night. It was his first fight back following his seventh-round knockout loss to Baltimore southpaw Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis 29-0 (27) in April.

Garcia received criticism from some quarters for his awkward defence when he tried to execute a shoulder roll, something he admitted after the fight was an improvisation his new coach Derrick James warned him not to use.

“Derrick told me never to do that,” Garcia said. “He told me, ‘you ain’t Mayweather, don’t do that shit’. He’ll never admit that but he did say that. I was just doing it, just like ‘let me see if this works’.

“It kind of did, he couldn’t hit me for two or three rounds. Then he did, and I was like ‘Forget this, I’m just going back to being me.’”

Recently crowned WBC lightweight champion Stevenson joined the chorus of critics, labelling Garcia a one-handed fighter.

“He only got a left hook,” said Stevenson to 210BoxingTV. “I’m a better fighter than him.”

But Stevenson has critics of his own. In his title winning effort against Dominican southpaw Edwin De Los Santos 16-2 (14) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 16, the 26-year-old Newark lefty nullified his opponent’s attacks by moving around the ring and spending large periods of the fight refusing to engage.

Stevenson won by close unanimous decision with scores of 115-113 and 116-112 twice, but the low punch output made for painful viewing.

Garcia compared their two fights.

“I fought a guy with power but I didn’t back down. I went right to him, stood my ground, moved, I did it all,” he said.

“He only showed one thing, which was moving around. His hand wasn’t hurt, his coach was telling him to throw it. Let’s stop that narrative right now.

“He’s just been a hater since the amateurs, for real. And I want to fight him, I’ll beat his ass, I promise you that. I’ve been in the ring with him. He’s cool, but he’s scared all the time. Scared, scared, scared. In a pro fight, it’s not gonna work.”

Garcia said he was happy with how his pairing with coach James was working out following an abbreviated stint being trained by Joe Goossen that lasted just three fights.

“I thought I did good especially with my first fight with Derrick,” said Garcia. “Derrick was pretty adamant that he wanted me to use my legs. [Duarte] was overly aggressive. I was trying to take some steam off his punches.

“I feel like I’ve found a home in Dallas. I’m just happy to be here. Derrick is committed to it. He’s a great trainer.”