By: Hans Themistode
Luke Campbell has been hit with some hard shots during his career. None however, have left him as debilitated as Ryan Garcia’s left hook to the body did last night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Before Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) drilled his man in the seventh round of their contest, Campbell appeared to be just fine. Outside of the fifth round where he was visibly hurt, the lightweight contender had his poker face on for most of the night.
Still, even as he kept a straight face as Garcia’s shots zipped past his face and occasionally found a home, Campbell admitted that the shot that ultimately ended the night, as well as those that came before it, were unlike anything he’s ever felt.
“He’s very heavy-handed,” said Campbell following his defeat. “Even when I was blocking the shots, I could feel them. That was the hardest shot I was ever hit with. I was having a good round in the seventh, but that was just a fantastic body shot. I was ready to attack again and he just timed the punch perfectly. I wanted to beat the count but just couldn’t.”
Campbell, 33, has grown accustomed to hitting the deck during the course of his career. After all, he found himself there in showdowns against Vasiliy Lomachenko, Algenis Mendez, Jorge Linares and Yvan Mendy.
Yet, no matter how many times the British native fell, he always dusted himself off and continued to fight. Nevertheless, his resiliency went by the wayside the moment Garcia landed his picture-perfect body shot.
“I tried and tried to get up, but I couldn’t. I felt him coming on, and I was moving back. When you move back my body relaxed a little bit and that’s the exact time he hit me.”
The agony etched on Campbell’s face was a stark difference from the one that displayed pure confidence just a few rounds before. After a fairly even opening round, Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs) connected with a left hook which sent his man to the deck for the first time in his career. To the credit of Garcia, he bounced right back as if nothing ever happened.
For Campbell, the shot that landed Garcia on the seat of his pants had the full force of his power behind it. So while he stood in his corner and watched Garcia rise back to his feet, Campbell almost couldn’t believe it.
“He did so well to get up from the shot in the second round. I felt that through my arm and knew it was a beauty but all credit to him. He got up and showed he’s got real heart.”
By: Hans Themistode
The critics of Ryan Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) were officially muted. For years now the young lightweight contender has been told that his good looks and flashy combinations on the heavy bag were good for social media, but not for boxing.
Coming into his lightweight showdown against multiple time title challenger Luke Campbell, Garcia was viewed as the prohibited favorite. Still, there were those who questioned what he was made of. Tonight, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas Texas, he showed that he isn’t just style but also substance.
Things started off just how Garcia was hoping for in round one. The California native easily outboxed his man and pocketed the opening frame. The following however, everything went wrong.
Garcia took the center of the ring and attempted to find his range. He seemed to be in complete control until a left hand from Campbell sent him to the deck. The socially distanced crowd rose to its feet while Garcia did the same. For the duration of the round, the 22-year-old grabbed and held in an attempt to clear his head.
The news headlines began writing themselves in between rounds. “We told you so,” “Not all that,” and a slew of other words were beginning to find their way across boxing pages everywhere.
But while pundits began writing his obituary, Garcia started his comeback. In round three, there was no fear of getting dropped again coming from Garcia as he came straight ahead. He banked the round convincingly and began building momentum. Winning rounds began repetitive as Garcia continued his aggression.
The fifth was Garcia’s most impressive as he had his man visibly hurt. Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs), to his credit, fought back but as round seven rolled by, there was reason to believe that the fight was slipping through his fingers.
During the build-up of their showdown, Garcia believed that he would not only win but do so impressively. A right hand to the body would prove him to be correct as Campbell crumpled over from the shot. Something he would never recover from.
The win for Garcia places him in the mandatory position for WBC lightweight titlist Devin Haney. While Garcia has said on numerous occasions that he would entertain a possible matchup, the 22-year-old was adamant about facing WBA belt holder Gervonta “Tank” Davis in his next contest.
“I’m a man of my word,” said Garcia immediately following his win. “Let’s go Tank, Let’s go. I’m ready.”
By: Hans Themistode
At times, it’s hard to see exactly what’s happening.
Fans of lightweight contender Ryan Garcia frantically search for their remotes whenever he steps foot inside of the ring. Once found, they immediately press the slow down button to catch exactly what happened.
For Garcia, the California native has become known for overwhelming his opponents with blinding speed but also power. A trait that his latest opponent in Francisco Fonseca learned the hard way. After wobbling his man with a left hook within the first minute of their fight early this year, Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) closed the show a few seconds with the same punch.
Again, in real-time, the fight-ending shot was hard to spot. For perennial contender Luke Campbell, he’s spent plenty of time hitting the rewind and slowdown buttons during many of Garcia’s bouts as he educates himself on what’s to come when the two face off later on tonight at the American Airlines Center, in Dallas Texas.
Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) admits that the speed is impressive, but he has one simplistic game plan to counter that.
“Timing beats speed,” said Campbell during a recent interview with FightHype.
Garcia’s main attribute might be his trademark speed but with four straight knockout wins under his belt, Campbell isn’t underestimating his power. With that said, the British native doesn’t believe that he’s a feather fisted fighter.
“I’d be a fool not to respect what brings but I believe I have power in both hands.”
For Campbell, the multiple-time title challenger is attempting to erase the second place stigma currently surrounding his career. With three losses plastered on his record against the likes of Yvan Mendy, Jorge Linares and Vasiliy Lomachenko – Campbell, by and large, is viewed as good, but not good enough.
Those losses however, took place at a different time in his life. At the age of 33, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist believes he’s a much different fighter.
“I’m more mature, I’m wise. I just believe that it’s my time.”
By: Hans Themistode
Lightweight contenders Ryan Garcia and Luke Campbell have told everyone for months that this fight was of the utmost importance. So it came as no surprise when both jumped onto the scales completely shredded for their main event tomorrow night at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
First up was the definitive underdog in Campbell. Covered in the now traditional face mask and shoe coverings, Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) stepped onto the scale at 135 pounds even. Immediately following him was Garcia as he shadowed boxed in the background before weighing in at 135 pounds as well.
Immediately following the weigh-ins, both fighters waited while a glass window was set up as part of the social distancing protocols. From there, they stared at one another for one final time before they meet tomorrow night.
For Campbell, his showdown against Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) will represent his first since a unanimous decision loss to Vasiliy Lomachenko roughly 16 months ago. His recent inactivity has been due to various reasons which include contracting COVID-19 in early November. Despite the time spent on the sidelines, Campbell has been unnerved during the build-up.
“I think I’ll break him down, hurt him and stop him late,” said Campbell during a recent interview with Dailymail.
Talk of Campbell scoring the stoppage win against Garcia would come as a surprise to the betting public and to the millions of followers the California native has garnered over the years across his social media platforms.
With trainer Eddy Reynoso and pound for pound star Canelo Alvarez firmly in his corner since 2018, Garcia has scored four straight wins, his latest two coming via first-round stoppage.
The entire event will be shown on the streaming app DAZN. Fans stateside will have to tune in earlier than normal as things kick off at 3 p.m. eastern time with the main event slated to begin roughly four hours later at 7 p.m.
By: Hans Themistode
Lightweight contender Ryan Garcia has heard it all. The flamboyant 22-year-old has been flattered with comments surrounding his good looks and sublime boxing skills. But he’s also heard the chatter revolving around his subpar opponents and penchant for garnering more attention due to his flashy combinations on the heavy bag as opposed to the talent he has displayed in the ring.
Despite the noise, Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) has thrown his blinders on and focused solely on Luke Campbell, his opponent this coming weekend. While the 22-year-old by and large has worked diligently with trainer Eddy Reynoso, that doesn’t mean he isn’t listening and taking mental notes.
“He hears those whispers,” said promoter of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya to Fight Hub TV. “How he can’t be a world champion and how he can’t beat this guy or that guy but that’s fuel to the flame. This is the perfect fight where he can really shine and become a superstar.”
In terms of his contemporaries such as Gervonta Davis, Teofimo Lopez, Vasiliy Lomachenko and Devin Haney – Garcia, according to most, is viewed as inferior. Yet, when juxtaposed to his opponent this Saturday night in Luke Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs), Garcia finds himself as a heavy favorite, something De La Hoya struggles to wrap his mind around.
“A lot of people are saying that but its mind-boggling to me how spread out the favoritism is but it’s a dangerous fight. This is a very dangerous fight for Ryan Garcia. It won’t be a walk in the park but I still feel that Ryan Garcia is going to make a statement in this fight.”
Since teaming up with his newfound trainer in Eddy Reynoso roughly a year and a half ago, the pair have outdone their previous performances. In his last two showdowns, Garcia has barely broken a sweat, needing less than two minutes, to care of business.
Regardless of Campbell winning Olympic gold in 2012 and despite going the distance with some of the best fighters in the lightweight division such as Jorge Linares and the aforementioned Vasiliy Lomachenko, Garcia doesn’t expect a long night at the office.
For De La Hoya however, beating Campbell is something he’s confident that Garcia will do. Stopping him on the other hand, will take something special.
“I can see Ryan getting frustrated a bit because he doesn’t knock him out in the first few rounds but that’s where you have to expose your greatness. If you’re destined to be great then that’s when you have to show it. You have to adjust. You have to make those little adjustments to figure out your opponent. Can Ryan Garcia knockout Luke Campbell? Absolutely, if he has greatness in him so we’ll see January 2nd.”
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.”
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 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!!”
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.