In what will be a big step up for Ryan Garcia, the WBC has now confirmed a deal has been done by Matchroom and Golden Boy Promotions for a fight between Garcia and Luke Campbell.
The clash will take place in November in the United States with or without crowds for the WBC ‘Interim’ Lightweight title and for the mandatory position for Devin Haney.
At 22, Garcia is yet to face a fighter close to the calibre of former Olympic Gold Medalist and two-time world title challenger Campbell. Will Garcia live up to the hype? Can he overcome this big elevation in skill level?
The Englishman has an outstanding amateur pedigree winning Olympic Gold at London 2012, but many believe he has underachieved in the professional ranks. He has three career losses: Frenchman Yvan Mendy, which was later avenged, Jorge Linares for the WBA title and Pound for Pound King Vasyl Lomachenko at the 02 last year. He has only been overcome at the very elite level by the best fighters.
Garcia is an elite athlete with high-level physical attributes. His speed and power are on par with if not above the best in the lightweight division. He is coached by Eddy Reynoso who also trains Canelo.
Reynoso is a world renounced coach and can assist in making sure Garcia has strong fundamentals that often lack in young fighters who turn pro early and teach Garcia to apply effective pressure.
The clash provides a huge opportunity for Garcia – win against Cambell would guarantee him a shot against old amateur rival and WBC Champion Devin Haney in addition to cementing his place as a top-five lightweight. However, a loss could be hugely detrimental to his career
and fan following. A loss would require a rebuilding process and in the interim stop the growth of his insanely large young fan base.
Campbell, a hard-punching southpaw would need to be wary early as Garcia is known for being dangerous in the first few rounds albeit at a much lower level. Garcia would need to earn the respect of Campbell as he has never been in with any high-level opposition and needs to make his presence felt in the ring and give Campbell something to be mindful about.
If Campbell can push KingRy back and force him onto the defensive he may be able to take the opening rounds with accurate scoring shots and put pressure on the young Garcia.
However, he will still need to be cautious as Garcia has proved he can counterpunch well and box on the backfoot in his recent contests against the aggressive Romero Duno and Italian Francisco Fonseca.
‘The Flash’ has only been past six rounds three times in his short career which means as the rounds go on it is more likely to favour the Brit who has been in deep waters before against the highest quality fighters. He may be able to take control of the fight in the mid-rounds
if Garcia can’t take him out or disallow him to control centre ring. Garcia is unlikely to be able to get rid of Campbell early as he has never been stopped before and proved an impressive chin and veteran defensive tactics after his knockdowns to Jorge Linares and Lomachenko.
Another challenging aspect of facing Campbell is the southpaw stance. Combining that with his amateur schooling could make it difficult for Garcia to find the correct distance to throw his punches or know if he is in range. However, southpaws are often more vulnerable
to left hook counters which is Garcia’s money punch and could be a massive advantage for him if he can time the attacks of Campbell.
Should Garcia overcome Campbell and look impressive doing so there are some big fights for him in the lightweight division. He would be mandatory for Devin Haney the WBC champion and could potentially be a future opponent for the winner of the much-anticipated
unification on ESPN between WBA (Super), WBO and WBC Franchise champion Lomachenko and the IBF World champion Teofimo Lopez on October 17.
Should Campbell be victorious, a fight with Haney at the 02 could be very lucrative and fan-friendly. In addition, fights with Teofimo Lopez, Javier Fortuna or rematches with Jorge Linares and Vasyl Lomachenko could be on the horizon for the British lightweight.