Ryan Garcia may have silenced some doubters, at least for a while, with a seventh round knockout win in Dallas over Luke Campbell.
Garcia (21-0, 18 KO) didn’t get through this without any adversity, as he was dropped hard in the second round and had to come off the canvas, settle down, and find himself.
Garcia, 22, won’t escape this fight without criticism, mind you. He was a little flat-footed, a little upright in his attacks, and he showed that maybe he doesn’t like leading the fight as much as he had to with Campbell — he even said after the fight he prefers being a counter-puncher, but that he knows Campbell doesn’t fight coming forward.
There are flaws. Campbell (20-4, 16 KO) showed us some of them, and the 33-year-old Brit did some strong work at points in this fight.
But it’s hard to argue that Garcia did not pass this test, even if you’re still of the belief one will soon come along that he will fail.
The knockout punch came on a vicious body shot, and Campbell was not able to answer the count of referee Laurence Cole in time. It’s the first time in his career that Campbell has been stopped.
“I think I showed a lot of people who I really am,” Garcia said after the fight. “They wanted to call me a social media fighter and a lot of names. Anybody who tries to put you down, remember, you’re not who people tell you you are, you’re who you choose to be.”
Garcia didn’t deny that the second round knockdown was a strong punch from Campbell, or that it didn’t shake him some, admitting he was “dizzy” but that overall it wasn’t too bad. It was, he says, the first time he’s ever been dropped.
“I got up, it was a good shot, and he caught me, man. I was like, ‘Yo! I got dropped, this is crazy!’” Garcia said “I think I got a little too excited in the moment. I felt like I could crack him, but he cracked me. So I had to adjust. I had to get back and show everybody what a warrior really is like.”
The young Golden Boy star remains on the rise with this win, obviously, and he kept to his promise, calling out Gervonta “Tank” Davis, and also Devin Haney, who was in attendance.
“I’m a man of my word: Let’s go, Tank! Let’s go! And I see you, Devin Haney!” Garcia said. “I like him, but I want to fight him, too. But I really want to fight Tank. I know people are worried about that one, but I’m ready. I fought at an Olympic gold medalist (in Campbell). Lomachenko couldn’t stop him. Linares couldn’t finish him. I showed today that I’m special.”
Garcia then led the crowd in a “We Want Tank!” chant to close his interview.
Did Ryan Garcia just hit Luke Campbell with the Euro Step? pic.twitter.com/Vh33Ng3j9T— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) January 2, 2021
LUKE CAMPBELL PUTS RYAN GARCIA ON THE CANVAS IN ROUND 2 pic.twitter.com/hCQaPiVHjY— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) January 2, 2021
Ryan Garcia catches Luke Campbell pic.twitter.com/Hl8togVVXT— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) January 2, 2021
RYAN GARCIA.— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) January 3, 2021
THAT'S IT. THAT'S THE TWEET. pic.twitter.com/j3jiClhCI8