Fighting Words: Luke Campbell Ready To Challenge Young Star Ryan Garcia
Even with a different opponent in play, Luke Campbell’s goal is still the same. This is especially true when the hype surrounding his opponent is extremely enticing to Campbell.
It was announced that the WBC has ordered an interim WBC Lightweight Title bout between Campbell (20-3) and 21-year-old Ryan Garcia. The winner of this bout, if approved, would face off against champion Devin Haney. The 32-year-old Campbell will be a major test for Garcia, who made his professional debut in 2016. Campbell is excited at the prospect of facing someone who is considered the future of boxing in Garcia.
“I’m excited to beat this lad; he’s an up-and-coming fighter with a lot of hype behind him,” Campbell told The Mirror. “I couldn’t do what they can do at 21 because I wasn’t there physically, I was a baby; when I was 21 years old I was like a 14-year-old.
Campbell was scheduled to face off against Javier Fortuna for the interim title. This was the original plan by the WBC after Devin Haney returned from shoulder surgery. Fortuna, however, will now face Jorge Linares (47-5) inside the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio, California on August 28. Campbell has fought for lightweight gold twice; he lost to Jorge Linares in 2017 for the WBA Lightweight TItle and lost to Lomachenko this past August for the WBA, WBO, and WBC Lightweight TItles.
Before the Lomachenko loss, Campbell was on a three-fight win streak.
Garcia has won seven fights since 2018. He won the WBO-NABO and WBC Silver Lightweight Titles against Romero Duno in November via TKO, his third win in a row via knockout. “KingRy” won his last bout in February, hitting Francisco Fonseca with a devastating knockout punch. While he is not taking the young gun lightly, when it comes to skill and the overall advantage, Campbell believes he trumps Garcia in that category.
“I’m 32 but I feel like I’m the 24-year-old fresh, mature fighter who has a lot to prove and to do in the sport of boxing,” Campbell went on to say. “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 percent of the rounds were close and competitive, I can fight miles better than that.”
Campbell is ready to face Garcia but only if he wants the fight. Garcia stated he is ready to compete until he is 26, as he is that confident in his ability. Just like he has done with Golden Boy and DAZN recently when it comes to pay, Garcia will look to use social media to get everyone invested in the fight, if it happens.
While being forced to change the idea of who he will be fighting, Campbell will be ready.
“He’s a fighter, he’s young and has a long career ahead of him but if he wants to take this challenge now I’m all game,” said Campbell.