Earlier today, Luke Campbell, Ryan Garcia, and their promoters averted a purse bid in agreeing in principle for a fight in November in the U.K. or the United States on DAZN. #1 WBC lightweight contender Campbell’s promoter Eddie Hearn is currently finalizing the contract for a match against 22-year-old King Ryan.
At stake for the Campbell vs. Garcia fight is the interim WBC 135-lb title as well as the mandatory position. The winner will be mandatory for World Boxing Council lightweight champion Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney.
In the next week, Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn and Golden Boy will decide which country to stage the Garcia-Campbell fight.
There are pluses and minuses for either country right now. Hearn is counting on fans being allowed back by November. That could require a minor miracle due to the vaccine for the COVID-19 virus isn’t expected to be released to the general population of U.K. and U.S. until December at the earliest, and more likey January, according to the latest news.
Contracts being finalized
“Obviously we’d love to have crowds back through the door and we hope by middle-end of November this will be a reality. We are finalizing contracts,” said Hearn to @MikeCoppinger.
The WBC ordered the Garcia vs. Campbell fight last July, and there were questions whether Golden Boy Promotions, the promoters for the 22-year-old King Ryan, would give him the green light to take the match.
Ryan is an excellent prospect, but he’s not been in deep against fighters anywhere near the same class as Campbell during his short four-year professional career. Moreover, in almost every department, Campbell has a significant advantage over Garcia skill-wise, experience, and ring generalship. Even in terms of amateur pedigree, Campbell has done more than Ryan.
One would like to have been a fly on the wall when the Golden Boy top brass sat down to decide whether to let the still green King Ryan take this fight with Campbell.
Everything about this fight suggests that it’s too soon for the inexperienced Garcia to be taking on a fighter of Campbell’s caliber, and yet this is what Ryan wanted. Did Golden Boy give in under pressure from Ryan to let him take a fight that he isn’t ready for? It would be interesting to know.
Someone has to be the adult in the room when dealing with fighters that don’t realize their own limitations. If this works out well for Ryan, then Golden Boy will like geniuses for letting their young prospect dare to be great.
But if it backfires on them, Golden Boy will have pie on their faces, and they’ll be roundly criticized for letting this fight happen.
Ryan Garcia taking a big step up in class
What Ryan needed in his last few matches was a fight against a quality contender to get him ready for someone like Campbell, but we didn’t see that.
Instead of Ryan facing someone decent like Javier Fortuna, Jorge Linares, or Felix Verdejo, Golden Boy matched hi against Romero Duno, Francisco Fonseca, and Jose Lopez. In other words, they played it safe with King Ryan by putting him in against fringe level fighters that weren’t a threat to him.
In the case of Linares, he’s arguably a better fighter than Campbell, as he showed in his 12 round split decision win over the British fighter in 2017.
Campbell is coming off of a loss Vasily Lomachenko last August in London, England. Lomachenkoa and Campbell fought for the vacant WBC lightweight title that had been given up by Mikey Garcia. It was a competitive fight, but Lomachenko was better than Campbell.
The way that Campbell went to war with Lomachenko, it’s challenging to picture Ryan being able to do the same thing. Campbell has a toughness about him that Ryan lacks, and his offensive game is a lot more complicated.