Internet Sensation and Social Media superstar Ryan Garcia takes the toughest test of his professional career against Olympic Gold Medalist and two-time world title challenger Luke Campbell on January 2. Garcia Campbell will be live and exclusive on DAZN worldwide and will land at the American Airlines Center, Dallas in Texas like all the major events in the pandemic where a crowd of 12,000 will be allowed.
Originally pencilled in for December 5, Campbell pulled out with Covid-19 but was well enough to only need a 4-week delay. This fight is for the WBC Interim Lightweight Title and the winner will be the immediate mandatory challenger to WBC Champion Devin Haney. Garcia stepped in to fight Campbell after Javier Fortuna pulled out of the final eliminator in favour of more a lucrative fight with Jorge Linares.
It will be another stacked Golden Boy Promotion card with two world title fights featuring the Alvarado twin brothers, former unified super middleweight champion Franchon Crews Dezurn, the brother of Ryan Garcia: Sean Garcia and undefeated two-weight NABF champion Blair Cobbs.
Ryan Garcia vs Luke Campbell: A Step Too Far for KingRY?
Ryan Garcia and Luke Campbell were both very capable amateurs with Campbell boxing at elite international level and eventually winning Olympic Gold at London 2012. Garcia had a 215-15 record in the unpaid ranks which included being a 15-time national champion and a 3-3 rivalry with WBC Champion Devin Haney who Garcia will be mandatory to if he can overcome the Brit.
However, they have completely different pedigrees in the Professional ranks. Garcia has quickly amassed a 20-0 record in his 4 years in the paid ranks but has yet to step up to world level opposition. KingRY has shown lightning hand speed and explosive power with his 2-step ups to fringe world level since November 2019 both ending in the first round.
Campbell had his breakout moment when he stopped fellow Hull fighter Tommy Coyle at the Craven Park Stadium in 2015. However, just 4 months later he was upset by French veteran Yvan Mendy which postponed his world title ambitions. Campbell rebuilt and eventually managed to win the #1 ranking in the WBA against Top 10 Lightweight Darleys Perez at Wembley Stadium on the Joshua-Klitschko Card.
He challenged reigning champion and Pound-For-Pound contender Jorge Linares at the Forum in Inglewood but fell short after starting badly which included a second-round knockdown for Linares. Campbell picked up the pace in the second half and many felt he won the majority of those rounds but lost a tight Split-Decision.
Campbell had his second shot at greatness against Vasyl Lomachenko at the 02 in August 2019 where he was convincingly beaten and outclassed at the hands of the Ukrainian Maestro. He was then ordered to fight Javier Fortuna for the interim WBC Belt, but due to Fortuna’s pullout, he gets what he considers an ‘easier fight’ to become Mandatory challenger to Devin Haney and win the WBC Interim Title.
Many feel that if Campbell can survive the early rounds he will come out stronger late on and stop Garcia late. Campbell is a tall, slick southpaw and can outbox Ryan Garcia with ease if Garcia can’t get inside that long reach and apply effective pressure. Luckily for him, he is coached by Eddy Reynoso the coach of Canelo Alvarez who is the master of pressure fighting.
Garcia has proved counter-punching abilities with the lead left hook and straight backhand which is something Campbell needs to weary of throughout the fight even if the Brit starts to take control in the mid-rounds. Campbell has never been stopped before and it will take a special kind of power to stop him; Does Garcia have that Gervonta Davis-type Power?
If not he may struggle to outpoint Luke Campbell over the distance as the Englishmen is very experienced and tactical which means a 12-round fight would favour him heavily. However, he does have 3 knockdowns in his career, one in each defeat which means an early knockdown from Ryan Garcia to stop the momentum of Campbell could be heavily beneficial to the American.