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Luke Campbell: Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney have yet to face someone like me

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The veteran contender could soon have his shot at two of the lightweight division’s top young names.

Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin - World Heavyweight Title Fight Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

With the WBC ordering a fight between Ryan Garcia and Luke Campbell, with the winner then in line to fight lightweight titleholder Devin Haney at some point, the 32-year-old Campbell — a senior compared to his two potential foes — spoke to Sky Sports about the possible matchups.

Campbell (20-3, 16 KO) isn’t at all disrespectful of what we’ve seen from Garcia (20-0, 17 KO), saying he “looks like he carries power and has speed,” but noted that neither of the 21-year-old fighters have faced very credible competition to date:

“It’s hard to see what they are about until they have been in the ring with someone of quality who has a good CV. By the amount of fights they have had, I had already beaten two former world champions. Neither of them have fought a former world champion yet. Time will tell.”

Haney (24-0, 15 KO) won the interim WBC title last September, and was bumped to full titleholder status when the WBC named Vasiliy Lomachenko “franchise champion,” after Lomachenko beat Campbell for the vacant WBC belt in August. It’s been a whole mess, really, as Haney was then injured in a November defense, the WBC declared him “champion-in-recess” and ordered a Campbell vs Javier Fortuna fight for the “vacant” title, and then COVID struck, Haney wound up reinstated, Fortuna has decided to fight Jorge Linares on Aug. 28, and now we’re here.

Fun sport to track.

Campbell is correct that neither Garcia nor Haney have exactly faced the creme de la creme at 135 pounds, and you can argue both are still really prospects, belt or not, fan following or not. As for the two ex-titlists Campbell noted he had beaten in the same career experience level, those were Argenis Mendez in 2016 and Darleys Perez in 2017. But Campbell had also lost to Yvan Mendy in 2015 (avenged in 2018), and he came into the pro ranks as a 25-year-old Olympic gold medalist, too; Haney and Garcia both turned pro at age 17. Being fair to everyone, there’s a significant difference in how they started their careers.

But however you want to analyze anything, Campbell would be a career-best opponent for Garcia by far, and for Haney, too, if he were to beat Garcia. He’s experienced, and he’s a good, technically sound fighter. Yeah, Lomachenko beat him wide, but Jorge Linares didn’t in 2017. He’s a serious contender and no pushover whatsoever.