Ryan Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) had to get off the deck from a knockdown in the second round to come back to stop 2012 Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs) on Saturday night to win the interim WBA lightweight title on DAZN at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Campbell, 33, was on the attack in the seventh round when he was caught by a hard left to the body by Garcia.
The shot caused Campbell to fall down in pain in a delayed reaction. Although Campbell made it to his feet just at the count of 10, the referee Lawrence Cole halted the fight. The time of the stoppage was at 1:58 of the round.
In the second round, Campbell knocked Garcia down with a left to the chin. The shot clearly had Garcia hurt, but Campbell failed to take advantage of it.
Ryan landed 93 of 293 shots for a connect percentage of 32.
After the contest, Ryan called out Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, saying he wants to fight him next.
“My performance definitely showed a lot of people who I really am,” said Ryan Garcia. “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.”
On the Knockdown:
“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 knew that I could beat him. I had to show that I was a warrior. 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.”
“He never fights coming forward, so I knew he would back up throughout the fight. I’m naturally a counterpuncher. But today I showed that I can be aggressive, go forward and take it to somebody. 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. I want to thank God.”
On The Future:
“I want to be a man of my word. I want Gervonta “Tank” Davis. I am ready. People are worried about that one. I want Tank Davis. I would also fight Devin Haney, too.”
“He’s very heavy handed. Even when I was blocking the shots, I could feel them. That was the hardest shot I was ever hit with. 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.
“He did so well to get up from the shot in the second round! I felt that through my arm and knew it was a beauty but all credit to him, he got up and show he’s got real heart.
It was a great fight and I knew I was right in the fight and thought I was having a good round in the seventh, but that was just a fantastic body shot. I was ready to attack again and he just timed the punch perfectly, I wanted to beat the count but just couldn’t, you just have to hold your hands up and say it was a great shot from a very talented fighter who is going to go a long way.”
Oscar De la Hoya:
“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.”
Felix “El Gemelo” Alvarado (36-2, 31 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua defended his IBF Junior Flyweight World Championship with a technical knockout victory against former 105-pound champion DeeJay Kriel (16-2-1, 8 KOs) of Gauteng, South Africa. The fight was stopped at 1:39 of the 10th round.
“I knew this would be a tough fight,” said Felix Alvarado. “He was a mandatory challenger and a former world champion, so I knew it would be tough. I got a bit tired, but that was because of his experience. I also dropped him with a hook, and I didn’t even expect for a punch like that to land. But rather than keep looking for that punch, I kept pushing him to the ropes to wear him down. I’m very happy to obtain this win because it is a dream come true for the Alvarado brothers to fight on such a big card together. I want any of the other world champions so I can show who is the best in the division.”
Welterweight prospect Raul Curiel (9-0, 7 KOs) of Tampico, Mexico scored a second-round technical knockout victory against Ramses Agaton (22-13-3, 12 KOs) of Tlalnepantla, Mexico in a scheduled 10-round fight. The fight was stopped at 1:16 of the aforementioned round.
“I felt really good and strong,” said Raul Curiel. “I felt that my opponent was a bit heavy. But I’m happy that I was able to deliver a great performance. I’m ready for any opponent that they bring to me at welterweight.”
Sean Garcia (6-0, 2 KOs) of Victorville, Calif. opened the DAZN broadcast with a four-round unanimous decision win against Rene Marquez (5-6, 2 KOs) of Scottsbluff, Nebraska in a lightweight bout. One judge scored the bout a 36-36 draw, which was overruled by two scores of 39-37.
“There were so many things going as we went into this fight,” said Sean Garcia. “I was a bit nervous. I came off of a year-and-half layoff. I had to find my distance. It was also hard to land shots on him because of his unorthodox style. Now, I just have to keep training hard and learn from my mistakes.”