The WBC Officially Announce Ryan Garcia vs Luke Campbell
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!!”
Ryan Garcia Wants to “Shock The World”
Ryan Garcia has always had the look of a great prospect.
His YouTube highlights and moments in the ring have shown him to be lightning fast. He also isn’t lacking in power with 17 knockouts in 20 career fights. Last and certainly not least, Garcia has shown to be a needle mover. A crowd of over 10,000 fans paid their hard earned money to watch him leave Francisco Fonseca on his back on Valentine’s Day earlier this year.
In addition to the butts that fill the seats to watch him fight, his 6.6 million Instagram followers ranks him ahead of champions such as Vasiliy Lomachenko, Tyson Fury, Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford combined.
Yet, regardless of the promise he’s shown as a prospect, he’ll get his chance to prove if he’s ready to graduate to contender and eventually champion.
Both Garcia and multiple time title challenger in Luke Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) have recently been ordered by the WBC to face one another. The winner of that contest would not only have the biggest win of their career, but according to the sanctioning body, they would also get a crack at belt holder Devin Haney.
For Campbell, championship losses against Vasiliy Lomachenko and Jorge Linares left him on the outside looking in. Nevertheless, the 2012 Olympic gold medal winner was on track to face multiple time division titlist Javier Fortuna.
However, Campbell was left at the altar as Fortuna opted to take on former champion Jorge Linares. But when one door closes, another one opens. And standing on the other end of his newly opened door is the undefeated Ryan Garcia.
“I’m excited to beat this lad,” said Campbell to The Mirror. ”He’s an up-and-coming fighter with a lot of hype behind him. He looks big for the weight and he carries power. He has quick hands but that’s all really, I haven’t seen anything else. It’s hard to judge anyone when they haven’t fought anyone. I believe I’m a step too far for him. No-one has seen the best of me yet and it’s coming. If anyone thought I boxed well against Lomachenko, and 90 per cent of the rounds were close and competitive, I can fight miles better than that.”
After partnering with trainer Eddy Reynoso, Garcia has proven that Campbell isn’t the only one who can improve.
With four straight knockout wins since the pairing, the two have been a match made in boxing Heaven.
The thought of becoming a world champion excites Garcia. And although he has never lacked in self confidence, he doesn’t expect all of his 6.6 million Instagram followers to fully believe in him.
He isn’t offended by it. Instead, it’s nothing but motivation.
“Will get my respect!” Said Garcia on his Twitter account. “SHOCK THE WORLD!!”
Devin Haney is WBC Lightweight Champion Once Again
By: Hans Themistode
Devin Haney fought long and hard to be called a champion once again. But this time, he didn’t have to step foot inside of the ring.
Instead of sitting on the sidelines like the rest of the world while the Coronavirus continues to be dealt with by medical officials, Haney took this time off as an opportunity to regain what he never lost in the first place. The WBC Lightweight title.
Haney first won the title with an easy stoppage win over Zaur Abdullaev. It was an interim title at first, but with the WBC handing out more belts than necessary, unified champ Vasiliy Lomachenko went from full title holder to Franchise champion. A distinction many still don’t fully understand.
Haney didn’t want to be simply handed a belt. No, he wanted to fight for it. Nevertheless, he was awarded the belt and made one successful title defense against Alfredo Santiago. From there, Haney was set to take on the biggest test of his career in multiple division champion Javier Fortuna.
While Haney has never turned down an opponent, he was forced to this time with a shoulder injury which led to surgery. Haney was then stripped of his title and made “Champion in Recess.” What that officially means is that once Haney was fully recovered, he could fight for his title immediately.
In the meanwhile, Fortuna was ordered to take on multiple title challenger Luke Campbell for the vacant belt. That contest, along with every other bout on the boxing schedule was forced to cancel due to the Coronavirus.
Never has there been good news that came from the virus, but Haney became the first. He petitioned to have his belt returned to him since boxing is on hold and is now 100 percent healthy.
“I feel like they should reinstate me—I was stripped because they felt I wouldn’t be active to fight my mandatory,” Haney pointed out prior to filing an official petition with the WBC. “But the two (top contenders) never fought.”
“So, what sense does that make? If I’m ready to fight the mandatories… let’s make this happen.”
His petition was heard and granted as he is now the WBC champion once again.
The moment boxing returns to its regular schedule, Fortuna will get his shot at a title. But for Luke Campbell, that effectively leaves him out of the loop.