21-year-old lightweight prospect Ryan Garcia is set for action on Saturday, headlining the Canelo-Kovalev undercard in the night’s co-feature on DAZN, facing Filipino battler Romero Duno in a fight that may or may not wind up competitive, but will almost certainly be an entertaining watch for fans.

Garcia (18-0, 15 KO) is expected to do a number on Duno (21-1, 16 KO), who is shorter and seems to have the more limited toolset, but Duno is a full-on warrior, too, a guy who fights his guts out every time he’s in the ring.

The fight has come about in a pretty unusual and fairly high-profile manner, considering that this is not exactly an elite-level matchup. Garcia was supposed to return to the ring in September against Avery Sparrow, who wound up arrested the day before the bout and was, obviously, pulled from the fight.

Duno, who was on the same card, was offered to Garcia as a short-notice replacement opponent, but Garcia and Golden Boy couldn’t come to terms on that, resulting in a very public and pretty ugly spat between fighter and promoter.

In the end, cooler heads prevailed, with Garcia signing an extension with Golden Boy and moving forward to the Duno fight on this date, a big opportunity on a major card.

On Duno’s end, he didn’t have any trash to talk about Garcia “ducking” him in September.

“I respect the decision because I know that King Ryan had already prepared for a different opponent, and that’s why he didn’t accept the offer,” Duno said on Tuesday.

Garcia was very brief in his discussion of the fight and any “controversy” surrounding it not happening a couple of months ago.

“I’m here now, I’m ready to do my thing Saturday night and prove that I’m the better fighter,” he said. “Words are cheap, I’m just ready to show what I can do.”

Duno is also fully aware that he’s the underdog, and that it’s believed that Garcia’s speed and skills will be too much for him, but he believes in himself, saying, “A lot of people said that King Ryan is going to beat you, but I said to myself that maybe I can have a technique to counter that kind of speed.”

Outside of Garcia’s huge social media presence — which he’s right about when he says that everyone but him seems to bring it up — he has a lot of naysayers and non-believers who feel he’s nothing more than an Instagram success who can’t back it up in the ring.

If he wins Saturday, he doesn’t sound like he expects anything to change there, at least not yet, and he’s not too concerned about it.

“I don’t know what it says to them, that’s up to their own judgment,” he said. “I believe in myself and my team believes in me and that’s all that matters. This is a big moment and a big time in my life.”

WBO NABO Lightweight Championship Result: Romero Duno Defeated Juan Antonio Rodriguez in Very Tough Brawl

Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio – In a grudge match for the NABO lightweight title, Romero Duno (20-1, 15 KOs) won a nine round technical split decision over Juan Antonio Rodriguez (30-8, 26 KOs). The scores were 85-84 for Rodriguez, 85-84 for Duno and 86-83 for Duno.

In his last fight, back in March, Rodriguez scored a huge upset – with a ninth round knockout of Mercito Gesta – who happens to be a good friend and Filipino countryman of Duno.

When the contest began, they were trading heavy punches in the very first round. Duno was landing better and landing harder.

Duno continued to press forward in the second and he was unloading with big combinations to push Rodriguez back. Rodriguez was giving as good as he was taking, going toe to toe with Duno. The Filipino banger was landing some heavy shots that Rodriguez withstood and kept firing back.

Rodriguez had the edge in the third, when he was tagging Dun with hard shots. In the fourth, it was an all-out brawl as the two boxers were blasting each other, with Rodriguez suffering a bad cut around his left eye from a clash of heads.

In the sixth, Rodriguez stunned Duno a few times with heavy shots that continued to rain down. In the seventh round, Duno lost a point after landing a hard low blow.

During the eight round, Duno landed a solid shot to the body that sent Rodriguez down in the final minute. Duno was unable to follow-up with much when Rodriguez got to his feet, because there wasn’t much time left.

In the ninth round, there was another clash of heads and Rodriguez suffered a bad cut on his cheek on his face. With Rodriguez having a bloody face from two head clashes, the referee stopped the action and sent the fight to the scorecards.