Luke Campbell came up short in another big fight on Saturday, knocked out in the seventh round by Ryan Garcia in an interim WBC lightweight title fight.
The 33-year-old Campbell (20-4, 16 KO) has already said that the final body shot from Garcia was the hardest he’s ever been hit with, and was very positive toward the 22-year-old American fighter in his post-fight quotes.
Campbell continued that on social media, speaking highly of the future for Garcia (21-0, 18 KO).
“I’m honestly heartbroken,” Campbell wrote on Instagram. “I really wanted to bring the win back for you all. I’m sorry for that. I hope you all enjoyed the fight. Have to take my hat off to (Ryan Garcia), well done and a massive future ahead for him. I wish him all the best.”
The immediate future for Campbell is a little murky, other than the obvious route forward for him is taking something of a rebound matchup. It won’t much excite anyone, but that’s the likely path. He’d still be a good opponent, at the very least, for a lot of contenders at 135, and he remains one himself. He could also, potentially, move up to 140 pounds.
As for Campbell’s praise of Garcia, that has to be taken seriously. There was the usual confident pre-fight from both, and Campbell really, truly came into this fight thinking he’d win. He dropped Garcia pretty hard in the second, but he said Garcia’s heavy hands were very real, and you could see a speed difference between the two.
Campbell has been in the ring with guys like Vasiliy Lomachenko and Jorge Linares, and he’s a former Olympic gold medalist. He’s a good, experienced fighter on the top level.
Garcia, it seems, is definitely for real; that doesn’t mean he’s flawless or never going to lose a fight, but the “Instagram fighter” tag is dead.