By: Hans Themistode
Lightweight contender Ryan Garcia sat back and observed as his social media influence continued to grow. But with every Instagram like following another fancy combination on the speed bag, Garcia watched as his name began to fade away behind the likes of Devin Haney, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Gervonta Davis and Teofimo Lopez.
Now however, Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) is ready to make a name for himself inside of the ring.
The California native is set to take on the toughest test of his career when he faces former Olympic gold medalist and multiple time title challenger, Luke Campbell.
The date and venue have not yet been revealed, but the ink has seemingly dried as both men have signed off on their bout.
For Garcia, his entire boxing life has changed just a year and a half ago. In 2018, the lightweight contender struggled to a majority decision victory over Carlos Morales. There was little doubt that Garcia was a bright prospect, but questions of his legitimacy as a future champion grew louder.
Looking to quiet his doubters, Garcia began working with Eddie Reynoso, trainer of pound for pound star Canelo Alvarez. Their partnership has been a match made in boxing heaven as Garcia has steamrolled his competition, winning his last four contests via stoppage.
While the future is looking bright for Garcia, the soon to be 33 year old Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) can’t say the same. The former Olympic gold medalist has continually come up short on the biggest of stages. A 2017 failed title challenge against Jorge Linares coupled with another 2019 title attempt against Vasiliy Lomachenko, which saw him fall short yet again, left Campbell as always the bridesmaid but never a bride.
Still, even with his penchant to fall short on the championship stage, Campbell’s confidence was exorbitantly high when asked his thoughts on a possible showdown with Garcia.
“It’s a fight that I’m really up for,” said Campbell during an interview with Boxing Social earlier this month. “I can go in there and showcase my skills. I don’t think I’ve seen one of his fights. I’ve seen highlights, but I’ve never sat down and watched one of his fights. It’s never interested me. You can see he’s got speed, and he’s got power. But I think I win by KO.”
Claims of a knockout win, along with the murmurs from those who doubt Garcia, are unsurprising to him. He isn’t looking to gain supporters in his upcoming contest against Campbell. No, the lightweight contender is in search of something else.
“Will get my respect,” said Garcia on his Twitter account earlier this month. “SHOCK THE WORLD!!”