Ryan Garcia answered several questions with the biggest win of his career.
After getting dropped for the first time in his career, Garcia came back with a tremendous left hook to knock out Luke Campbell and win the interim WBC lightweight title. The fight headlined the first boxing card in the United States of 2021. The fight took place in Dallas’ American Airlines Center and streamed on DAZN.
Garcia pushed the pace in the first round of the fight, backing up Campbell multiple times. Things changed in the second round when Campbell dropped Garcia with a clean left hook. Garcia got back up and fought toe-to-toe with Campbell, throwing hooks upstairs.
However, Campbell’s jab was also effective throughout the fight, snapping Garcia’s head back. Garcia scored his biggest punch in the closing seconds of the fifth round when he landed a left-right combination that hurt Campbell.
Once the sixth round began, Garcia started to throw wild punches that were mostly blocked. After some back-and-forth action, Garcia ended the fight with a huge left hook to the body in the seventh round. Campbell dropped to one knee and did not get back in time to respond to the referee’s 10-count.
This was Garcia’s fifth fight with Eddy Reynoso as his head trainer and all five fights ended with a knockout. However, none of Garcia’s opponents had the resume and skillset that Campbell possessed. Garcia is also the first man to stop Campbell, something that neither Lomachenko nor former champion Jorge Linares was able to do when they fought Campbell.
Both Garcia and Campbell were dealing with their own battles of ring rust. Garcia last fought in February 2020 when Garcia knocked out Francisco Fonseca in the first round. His last two fights dating back to November 2019 only lasted two minutes and 58 seconds. Campbell’s last fight took place in August 2019 when he lost to Vasiliy Lomachenko by unanimous decision.
The WBC title picture is now clearer after this fight. Garcia is in line for a shot at Devin Haney’s WBC world title. Haney has not fought since beating Yuriorkis Gamboa this past November.
After the fight, Garcia noted that he wanted to face Haney, but also called out WBA lightweight and super featherweight champion Gervonta Davis. Throughout the week, Garcia and promoter Oscar De La Hoya spoke highly of Garcia’s chances against Davis. The win sets up a potentially big 2021 for Garcia as he shares a division with the likes of Haney, Davis, Lomachenko and most importantly, unified titleholder Teofimo Lopez.