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Can Luke Campbell Dim Ryan Garcia’s Bright Star?

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  • Can Luke Campbell Dim Ryan Garcia’s Bright Star?

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    By Arne K. Lang

    Texas hasn’t been a very hospital place to boxers from across the bond. Liverpool’s Callum Smith didn’t fare well on his recent trip to San Antonio. Smith showed his mettle by standing up to Canelo Alvarez for 12 rounds, or he under-performed by failing to make a concerted effort to win. Opinions vary. Regardless, he lost and fell from the ranks of the unbeaten.

    Tomorrow, Jan. 2, Luke Campbell, a Yorkshireman, will attempt to make amends by defeating Canelo’s stablemate Ryan Garcia. The oddsmakers don’t like his chances. “KingRy” is a consensus 4/1 favorite. The bout, slated for 12 rounds at 135 pounds, will play out before a socially-distanced, pro-Garcia crowd at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. DAZN will televise.

    In a survey by a prominent web site, 16 of 17 respondents picked Ryan Garcia. However, many of the picks were wishy-washy. The respondents, by and large, were in accord that this won’t be a cakewalk for Garcia. In Campbell, a southpaw who is big for the weight, Garcia is meeting his toughest opponent.

    Ryan Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) has only gone 10 rounds twice. One of those fights was an untidy affair with unheralded Carlos Morales, a bout he won by a majority decision. Fourteen of his 17 knockouts, including the last three, have come within the first two rounds. As a pro, he’s answered the bell for only 60 rounds.

    Garcia turned pro in Tijuana at age 17. He’s 22 now, 11 years younger than Luke Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) whose amateur career, culminating with an Olympic gold medal, is the stuff of legend in the U.K.

    All three of Campbell’s losses came in 12-round fights and the first two were near-misses. In 2015, he lost a split decision to Yvan Mendy. Twenty-one months later, in Los Angeles, he lost a split decision to Jorge Linares. In that bout, he was knocked down in the second round and that proved to be the difference. He fought his way back into the fight and no one not connected to either fighter would have argued if the match had been declared a draw. Campbell lost his father a few weeks before the bout and that made his effort more noteworthy.

    Campbell’s third loss came in his most recent fight. He lost a wide decision to Vasyl Lomachenko.

    He earned that assignment with the best performance of his pro career. On Sept. 22, 2018, in the chief supporting bout to Joshua vs. Povetkin at Wembley Stadium, he avenged his loss to Mendy, winning a clear-cut, unanimous decision. This was his first outing with his current trainer Shane McGuigan, and he fought a smart, tactical fight, inviting comparisons to Mikey Garcia who was then undefeated.

    The lightweight division, which includes young guns Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney, and Teofimo Lopez, is borderline sexy and there will be nothing borderline about it if Ryan Garcia wins impressively tomorrow night. Then the hardcore fans will jump on Ryan Garcia’s bandwagon, joining his 7.8 million followers on social media. The unmarried 22-year-old father of two has the “it” factor. In the vernacular of the day, he is an Instagram Influencer. We haven’t seen a boxer as popular with the ladies since his promoter Oscar De La Hoya was a young man.

    Luke Campbell hasn’t fought in 16 months. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Garcia exploits any ring rust and takes him out early. But if Campbell can weather the storm, he can make things very warm for Garcia.

    The Brits haven’t fared well in Texas, but this promises to be a much better fight than Canelo vs. Callum Smith.

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

  • #2
    Not a chance.

    Garcia is good enough to stop Campbell cold.

    TKO in less than six. 🤕


    • #3
      No way Campbell will take care of this guy. Only way he could lose is if it is close and goes to the cards in that case Luke could knock him down four times and blast him thru the ropes one time and Canello carries him back in the ring that last time. Lot of money riding on this kid so beyound that Luke will win this fight.


      • #4
        Good little struggle, pretty evenly matched really. 👍

        Garcia needs to tighten up his D, work on foot work.


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