Lightweight contender Ryan Garcia faced off against Luke Campbell on Saturday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Garcia is being heralded as the next big thing. Faced his biggest test to date in Campbell.  Garcia certainly passed the test in the form of a 7th round TKO of Campbell, yet it’s safe to say there was some scary moments for KingRy.

The bout began with Garcia as the aggressor. Connecting with left hooks and straight right hands. Garcia’s  hand speed clearly  had Campbell flummoxed and unable to assert his own game plan. In round two that all changed. Campbell timed Garcia beautifully and connected with a left hook dropping Garcia to the canvas. Garcia easily beat the count but on shaky ground the remainder of the round.

From rounds three through six Garcia reasserted himself. In round seven, Garcia closed the show, landing a crushing left hook to the body. Campbell took a knee after a delayed reaction but could not manage to work back to his feet as the referee’s count reached 10 to give Garcia the knockout victory.

Speaking to the knockdown and victory Garcia’s promoted Oscar De La Hoya 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. Everyone in the lightweight division should consider themselves on notice. 2021 will be the year of Ryan García.”

What did Garcia himself have to say about the knockdown? He told the press “I got too excited in the moment. I felt I could just walk him down, but he ended up cracking me. So, I had to adjust and calm down. I was a little dizzy with the knockdown, but I wasn’t worried. He never fights coming forward, so I knew he would back up throughout the fight. I’m naturally a counterpuncher. But today I showed I can take it to somebody and knock them out. God told me that it would end with a body shot, and that’s what happened.”
 
As for the victory Garcia stated “[m]y performance definitely showed a lot of people who I really am. Going into this fight I wanted to show people that you are not what people call you. You are what you choose to be. I chose to be a champion tonight. 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.”
 

Boxing pundits often state, the great ones don’t show their greatness until adversity is staring them in the face and they get up and answer the call. Ryan Garcia clearly got his first taste adversity and he clearly answered the call. 

Check out the highlights of Garcia vs. Campbell here.

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Photo Tom Hogan-HoganPhotos/Golden Boy Promotions.

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