Dubai: They say that you can’t keep a good man down and that’s exactly what Mexican-American boxer Ryan Garcia demonstrated as he bounced back after being floored by Britain’s Luke Campbell to score a seventh-round stoppage victory and capture the interim lightweight title.
Garcia, 22, was caught by a viscious left hook in the second round which dropped him to the canvas at the Amierican Airlines Centre in Dallas, Texas, only to make a dramatic recovery and aggressively reverse the trend on Campbell, a gold medallist at the 2012 London Olympics.
By the third round Gacia gained control over Cambell, 33, and began to punish him with jabs and sharp blow to the body. The end came in the seventh round when Garcia connected with a devastating body blow to Campbell’s right side that sent the English fighter to one knee and his fourth career loss.
“That was the hardest shot I was ever hit with,” Campbell said. “I tried and tried to get up, but I couldn’t. I felt him coming on, and I was moving back, and when you move back, my body relaxed a little bit and that’s the exact time he hit me."
García, who fights out of Ocasr De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Productions Team, was securing his 18th knockout in 21 fights which put him in position for a potential title short. “I’ve never been dropped in my life,” said García. “I think I got a little too excited in the moment. I was a little dizzy with the knockdown, but I wasn’t worried. He’s not used to going forward, so I just knew I had to cover up. I didn’t let anything stop me from being a champion tonight. Even when he dropped me, I knew that couldn’t stop me from being champion.”
Soon after he scored the knockout win, Garcia went to Campbell’s corner and told him, “You got me, bro. I’ve never been dropped in my life. You taught me a lot, man." Garcia also embraced his father, trainer and Mexican champion Canelo Alvarez in the ring. “I think I showed a lot of people who I really am,” Garcia told DAZN afterward.
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya was full of praise for Garcia and said: “This is the kind of fight where superstars are made. “Down on the mat early for the first time in his career, Ryan got up, rallied, broke down his man and got the knockout.”
After the win García called out World No. 2 ranked Gervonta Davis, a four-time world champion in two weight classes, but also mentioned Devin Haney. In 2019, Haney, who is unbeaten in 25 fights, became the youngest world champion in 23 years after being promoted from WBC interim to full champion status.
World Lightweight rankings
1. Teofino Lopez (16 wins, 12 Kos, 0 losses)
2. Vasyl Lomachenkos (14-10-2)
3. Gervonta Davis (24-23-0)
4. Devin Haney (25-15-0)
5. Ryan Garcia (21-18-0)