By Brad Slotnick: Ryan Garcia predicts an easy knockout of 2012 Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell “within three rounds” on January 2nd in their fight on DAZN at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
Although Ryan, 22, doesn’t respect Campbell for having lost all three times when he’s stepped it up in the pro ranks, he still views this as the most important fight of his four-year pro career.
Luke has failed when facing high-caliber opposition
Campbell has previously lost to Vasily Lomachenko, Jorge Linares, and Yvan Mendy. The British fighter has done an admirable job of defeating the domestic level opposition from his home country in England, but he’s come up short when facing world-class opposition.
Luke lost his last fight to Lomachenko by a 12 round unanimous decision on August 31, 2019, but surprisingly, the World Boxing Council didn’t drop him from the top 10. Campbell is ranked #3 with the WBC.
The sanctioning recently ordered King Ryan and Campbell to fight for their interim WBC lightweight title with the winner to challenge WBC 135lb champ Devin Haney.
Ryan Garcia using Campbell as a stepping stone
Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) sees a victory over Campbell (20-3, 16 kOs) as putting him as one of the elite fighters in the 135-lb division.
“This fight is going to be the biggest fight of my life so far,” Garcia said. “This is going to put me on that level where I get that respect. I think this fight will solidify me as probably one of the best in the world right now.
“I know I’m going to beat Luke Campbell and knock him out within three rounds, and I’m very, very, very sure of that, 100 percent sure,” sid Ryan.
There are a lot of doubts about the ability of Ryan Garcia among the fans, and those doubts will be partially erased with a victory by him over Campbell.
With that said, Garcia has got to do a lot better than beating the likes of Campbell for him to prove that he belongs among the elite at 135.
Campbell, who still fights like an amateur, is too flawed for him to be viewed as a good enough name to put King Ryan in the class of Teofimo Lopez, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, and Vasily Lomachenko at 135. Those are the big three at lightweight right now.
Ryan and Haney are clearly below those fighters in achievement right now, and it’s going to take a victory over one of those guys for them to be placed among them.
As far as Campbell goes, he’s below that bunch. His three losses to Linares, Lomachenko, and Mendy disqualifies him from being mentioned among them. It’ll be interesting to see how Ryan deals with Campbell on January 2.
For Garcia to be taken seriously as one of the best at 135, he’s going to need to dominate Campbell and preferably win by knockout.