By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn says the winner of the Ryan Garcia vs. Luke Campbell fight must fight WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney in their next fight. Hearn is starting to sound very worried about Ryan choosing to go in another direction from Haney.
That’s a fight that Hearn has been banking on, and if it doesn’t happen, Haney’s path to stardom will be slowed.
Surprisingly, the Golden Boy Ryan is talking about wanting to fight Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis next and not Haney.
The popular Ryan views a fight between him and WBA ‘regular’ lightweight champion Tank (24-0, 23 KOs) as one that will make a lot of money and attract a great deal of attention. Ryan says views the Haney as a boring” one and not as interesting for him.
Garcia and Campbell will be fighting nine days from now on January 2nd in the main event on DAZN at the American Airlines Center, in Dallas, Texas.
While the Matchroom promoter Hearn can’t force the Garcia – Campbell winner to take on Haney, he says DAZN wants that fight to happen.
Also, Hearn points out that Ryan (20-0, 17 KOs) vs. Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) contest is a final eliminator and it’s for the interim WBC lightweight title.
The World Boxing Council ordered the fight between Garcia and Campbell, so it would be pointless for the winner not to face Haney (25-0, 15 KOs).
Hearn asks, why would Campbell and Ryan agree to fight after being ordered by the WBC if they weren’t willing to face Haney? That was the whole point behind the WBC ordering the Ryan vs. Luke fight, to have the winner face Haney.
Hearn surprised Ryan Garcia took Campbell fight
“It really comes down to how good Ryan Garcia is,” said Eddie Hearn to ESNEWS on his fight with Luke Campbell. “He might be really good or he might not be good at all.
“Let’s be honest; he might not be world level. I’m very, very surprised,” said Hearn when asked if he was surprised that Ryan took the fight with Campbell. “I won’t throw anyone under the bus at Golden Boy, but I know some of them are surprised.
“It’s not that they don’t rate Ryan Garcia. What I like about Ryan Garcia and Eddy Reynoso is, they’re backing it up. You can talk s*** and have a lot of Instagram followers, but to jump into a fight like that is another thing.
“So they obviously believe [they can win]. Eddy Reynoso is a smart man. They [Team Ryan Garcia] wouldn’t be taking this fight if they didn’t believe they could win.
“I’m not sure if they’ve got the power to do that,” Hearn said when asked if Golden Boy tried to talk Ryan Garcia out of taking the fight with Campbell.
“It wasn’t that they said, ‘Don’t take the fight,’ but maybe as the fight draws closer, they’ll realize they made a mistake.
“I’d give him massive props and he’s a world-class fighter and a superstar,” said Hearn when asked what he’d say if Ryan beats Campbell. “If he beats Luke Campbell, he becomes a real player,” said Hearn.
The British promoter Hearn isn’t the only one that is surprised that Ryan Garcia took the fight with the 33-year-old Campbell. Many boxing fans see this as too big of a jump up in competition for the 22-year-old Garcia, and they don’t see him as being ready.
The four-year professional Ryan Garcia’s best opponent on his resume is Carlos Morales in 2018, and he didn’t impress against him. Ryan squeaked out a controversial 10 round majority decision and was lucky to get the victory.
While Ryan insists that he’s improved since the Morales fight, his lackluster opposition has made it impossible to know whether that’s true or not. Golden Boy has matched Ryan carefully ever since the Morales fight.
Haney is next for Garcia – Campbell winner
“Don’t forget that it’s a final eliminator to fight Devin Haney,” said Hearn about the Garcia vs. Campbell fight having been ordered by the WBC. “So don’t be ducking Devin Haney. This is the interim world title fight and a final eliminator to fight Devin Haney.
“It has to happen next,” Hearn said when asked if the winner of Garcia vs. Campbell will fight Haney. DAZN has already said, ‘That’s the fight.’ Golden Boy already knows.
“The general feeling is, away from me and most Brits, that Ryan Garcia wins that fight [with Campbell]. If that’s the case, DAZN has already said, ‘Golden Boy, Matchroom, that’s the fight you make with Haney.’
“That’ll be the next fight for both. But he’s got to win. You can’t fight a final eliminator, win, and then not fight a champion. Why would he [Garcia] fight Luke Campbell otherwise? It’s a dangerous fight?
“It’s for the interim [WBC lightweight] title, and it’s a final eliminator. So if you win that fight, fight the champion. Ryan Garcia has got to beat Luke Campbell.
“But in the event that Luke Campbell twists his ankle in the fight and Ryan Garcia winning that fight, it’s a tremendous fight [between Haney and Ryan].
“It sells out the Staples Center, two young studs. That’s the fight that when we talk about YouTube boxing and all this cool stuff, that’s the kind of fight that brings in a new generation of fans,” said Hearn.
You can understand why Ryan prefers to take on Gervonta Davis next rather than Haney. The interest from U.S boxing fans in a fight between Garcia and Tank Davis would be through the roof.
In comparison, Ryan vs. Haney wouldn’t draw nearly as much attention from the public. Haney has a boring style of fighting, and he doesn’t attract a lot of interest from casual fans compared to Tank.
If the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Campbell beats Garcia, Hearn won’t need to worry about his fighter Haney being ignored. Hearn is confident that Campbell will beat Ryan, so it’s unclear why he’s so nervous about Haney being avoided.
Campbell hasn’t said anything about wanting to go in a different direction against Tank Davis should he beat Ryan Garcia on January 2nd.
If Campbell thought about it a little bit, he might be better off facing Tank Davis on Showtime pay-per-view than fighting Haney, who has no fan base to speak of. Haney vs Campbell would be on DAZN only in the U.S.
Kriel picks Ryan to beat Campbell
“I hope Ryan Garcia wins, he’s really good for the sport right now,” said minimumweight DeeJay Kriel to Fighthype. “I think [Ryan] is the better talent, but to write off Luke Campbell.
“He has a lot of experience, and he’s given guys very hard fights, [Jorge] Linares and [Vasyl] Lomachenko, so don’t write him off. I just think Ryan Garcia is at that time of his life where he wants to keep winning and prove to people he’s very good.
“Yeah, that’s it, I think he’s going to win. I think decision, but it could be a stoppage, though. I think he [Ryan] could stop him. He’s got tremendous power, tremendous timing, so I think he could stop him.
“Yeah, I think stoppage in the later rounds. I don’t think he’s [Ryan Garcia] is overrated at all. The kid has very good talent, good speed, good power, and he’s got everything going for him.
“It’s the same as you would say in any other industry. You watch these young guys coming up, and people hating on them. He’s being followed because he is good,” said Kriel.
DeeJay Kriel (16-1-1, 8 KOs) will be taking on IBF minimumweight champion Felix Alvarado (35-2, 30 KOs) on the undercard of Ryan Garcia vs. Luke Campbell on January 2nd.
Also on the Garcia vs. Campbell card:
- Rene Alvarado vs. Roger Gutierrez – Alvarez will have his WBA ‘regular’ super featherweight title on the line
- Franchon Crews Dezurn vs. Ashleigh Curry
- Sean Garcia vs. Rene Marquez