Ryan Garcia vs Luke Campbell
Ryan Garcia has been on the peripheral of boxing super stardom for some time now, screaming to anyone who would listen that he is more than just a social media star, and is capable of mixing it with the elite level fighters. He has been eagerly waiting for his big chance to show the world what he can do, and his big chance came in the form of one Luke Campbell.
Campbell, an Olympic gold medallist and former challenger for multiple world titles is a very experienced fighter, and was Garcia's biggest named and most dangerous opponent to date, and it showed. After a closely contested first round, it appeared that Garcia was started to find his footing as he stalked Campbell around the ring and imposed his superior strength and hand speed, he began to relax a little bit too much and it was then that he was caught with a beautifully placed left hook flush on the chin and went sprawling to the canvas, he was hurt, hurt more than he would have you believe.
To Garcia's credit he took the shot, and came blazing back to win the third round and ultimately to win the fight by knockout in the seventh round with a crushing liver shot, one so devastating that Campbell was never going to be able beat the count, even if ref had given him an extra 20 seconds.
This is a big win for Garcia, considering that Campbell was able to push Jorge Linares and Vasiliy Lomachenko to the limits of their skill sets. It answered a few questions, can he take a punch? Yes. Can he get up from a knockdown? Yes. Does he have heart? Yes, but for me it left me with more questions than answers. Where was his footwork? Seemed to be completely flat footed the whole fight as though he were allergic to getting on his toes. Does he have a defence? Campbell seemed to land almost everything he threw. Can he cope against the truly elite fighters?, i suppose now we will get the chance to see, but for me he's not ready and needs more challenges like Campbell. The potential is there, but having potential is easier than fulfilling it.