Luke Campbell: Ryan Garcia & Vasily Lomachenko = The 2 best at lightweight

By Boxing News - 08/10/2021 - Comments

By Allan Fox: Recently retired former two-time world title challenger, Luke Campbell surprisingly says he views Ryan Garcia as one of the two best fighters in the lightweight division today.

The other fighter the 33-year-old Campbell sees as one of the top two guys at 135 is Vasily Lomachenko, a no-brainer to pick as one of the best in the division.

Interestingly, Campbell doesn’t include Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, Teofimo Lopez, or Devin Haney as one of the two best in the division. In fact, Campbell fails to even mention Teofimo, which could suggest that he views him as not a true 135-pounder.

In the eyes of many boxing fans, Teofimo is viewed as a weight bully, a fighter that melts down huge amounts of weight to compete against smaller opposition at 135 so that he can gain an advantage.

They believe Teofimo should be fighting at 140 if not 147, which would be closer to his natural weight of the mid-150s.

Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs) fought both Ryan and Lomachenko, coming up second-best in both competitive fights with these two talents.

Given that the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Campbell was able to share the ring with the recently turned 23-year-old Ryan Garcia and Lomachenko (15-2, 11 KOs), he’s seen what they were capable of doing.

Campbell: Ryan Garcia is the MOST dangerous

“Ryan Garcia is the most dangerous of them all. Garcia has punch with power in both hands, he can end fights with one shot, he has great timing,” said Campbell to Sky Sports.

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“Haney is technical, a good boxer. He is quick but not the quickest. But we nearly saw Linares knock him out in his last fight,” said Campbell.

The speed and the devasting power that Ryan has in his left hook it’s lethal against anyone in the 135 or 140-lb weight classes. If Ryan lands his left hook smash on anybody in those two weight classes, he can end the show immediately.

Having that kind of power transcends the technical skills that fighters like former three-division world champion Lomachenko possess.

Ryan could potentially knock out anyone in the lightweight division if he lands his left hook squarely, and it’s almost impossible to keep him from connecting with that shot in a 12 round fight.

But [Ryan] Garcia and Lomachenko are the two best fighters in the division,” Campbell said.

Tank Davis (25-0, 24 KOs) is certainly a fine talent, but his days at lightweight are numbered.

Now that the 26-year-old Tank has gotten a taste of the limelight and money that’s available to him at 140, he’s likely to stay there and go after money fights against popular fighters like Josh Taylor and fading former 147-lb champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman.

Image: Luke Campbell: Ryan Garcia & Vasily Lomachenko = The 2 best at lightweight

Campbell: Fans decide who is a champion or not

“Being a champion is not necessarily having a belt or not,” Campbell said. “You can get given a belt these days, then call yourself a world champion.

“It’s down to the fans whether you are the champ or not,” said Campbell.

Although Campbell doesn’t mention any fighter in particular when talking about someone being “given a belt,” it’s likely that he’s talking about Devin Haney, who was elevated to WBC lightweight champion outside of the ring. Hence, Haney is frequently referred to as an “email champion’ by fans and some fighters.

Ryan Garcia and Lomachenko are both considered uncrowned world champions at lightweight in the eyes of many people.

Image: Luke Campbell: Ryan Garcia & Vasily Lomachenko = The 2 best at lightweight

It doesn’t matter that they are beltless at the moment, boxing fans still view them as world champions.

You can argue Ryan and Loma are viewed above Haney, which shows how shaky his position is as the WBC belt holder.

The sanctioning bodies hurt boxing by elevating fighters to champion status and the fights they sanction to be for their world titles. It’s believed that it’s a political process more so than an athletic thing for them.