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Duarte Will Fight Garcia in Semifinal

May 18, 1986|STEVE SPRINGER | Times Staff Writer

Just two more steps for Frankie Duarte and his long trip back will be complete.

At least that's the way he figures it.

If Duarte can beat George Garcia (25-3-2, 10 knockouts) of Westminister Tuesday in the semifinal round of a Forum bantamweight tournament, and then defeat Jesus Salud in July for the Forum title, he should be all the way back. Or at least ranked in the top 10 and perhaps in line for a title shot.

It's been a long time since that has been a possibility for the 31-year-old Duarte. He retired prematurely six years ago because of a drinking problem, but he hasn't had a drink in three years.

In the eight fights of his comeback, Duarte has lost only once under new management--he has been handled by the Ten Goose Boxing organization of North Hollywood for the last year and a half. Duarte's lone loss under Ten Goose came at the hands of former World Boxing Association champion Richie Sandoval.

Duarte (37-6-1, 28 knockouts) won a unanimous 10-round decision over Mike Moreno two months ago in the first round of the Forum tournament. Garcia, 28, advanced by unanimously winning his 10-rounder the same night against Mario Gomez.

First prize in the tournament is $50,000.

Also on Tuesday night's card is a 12-round match between Ramon Rico (24-5, 21 knockouts) of Mexico and Irving Mitchell (28-4, 14 knockouts) of San Diego for the California featherweight title. Dee Collier (14-3, six knockouts), whose biggest claim to fame is, and may always be, his first-round knockout of Tex Cobb last year, will meet Eric Curry (11-1, eight knockouts) in a preliminary heavyweight match.

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