By: Hans Themistode
For months now, Ryan Garcia hammered away at a heavy bag with a picture of Luke Campbell plastered to it. The two lightweight contenders had long agreed to terms for a matchup between them, but an official date had never been set.
Now, after demanding one, Garcia can circle December 5th on his calendar.
On paper, Campbell appears to be the toughest test for the 22 year old Garcia. He was after all a 2012 Olympic gold medalist. And although he has fallen short on the biggest of stages in his pro career, Campbell has never been known as an easy out.
Garcia on the other hand, isn’t fazed by the accomplishments of his opponents or the naysayers that are quick to tell him that this step up in competition is coming a bit too early for him. With four straight knockouts, the California native is chomping at the bit to prove that the hype surrounding him is absolutely real.
“I’ve been eagerly waiting to get back in the ring and have been working harder than ever to get here,” said Garcia on a recent Golden Boy press release. “It’s been a tough year for everyone, but I’m excited to bring the fans an escape for the night… or based on my track record, a few minutes at most. Luke’s record speaks for itself, but I’m ready to prove the doubters wrong. This is my era now and December 5th just the start of it.”
While Garcia has enjoyed success both inside and outside of the ring, the flamboyant 22 year old has never quite seen eye to eye with promoter Oscar De La Hoya. Garcia has openly criticized him for failing to pay him what he believes he deserves, and his failure to acknowledge him as one of boxing’s biggest stars. Although it isn’t clear if their relationship has improved, De La Hoya had no issue heaping mountains of praise on his young star earlier today.
“For years, the world of boxing has been clamoring for a crossover star who can reach new audiences that have gone untapped for far too long,” said De La Hoya. “Ryan Garcia stands at the precipice of doing the same thing at an incredibly young age when he takes on Luke Campbell. While transitioning Ryan’s enormous social media following to DAZN viewers is good business for Ryan, Golden Boy and DAZN, it’s more importantly good for the sport of boxing, which needs a shot in the arm right now more than ever. For the next months, we are going to work tirelessly with our partners to promote this fight — by far Ryan’s biggest test of his career —which can catapult Ryan’s career to an entire other level.”
Campbell, 33, is well aware of the storylines that are hovering around this matchup. He’s followed the young career of Garcia and has been impressed. With that being said, he believes his man has no chance on the night.
“2020 has been an extremely tough year for everyone, so I’m really pleased we can finally get this fight officially on and give the fans something to look forward to,” said Campbell. “There’s been a lot of talk and he’s clearly a very highly regarded fighter, but I’m going to prove that this is far too much, far too soon and that I’m on a completely different level.”