King Ryan Garcia dodged a bullet tonight in getting hurt badly by Luke Campbell in the second round. Still, he showed heart in coming back to stop him in round seven in front of a small crowd at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) went on the attack after being dropped by Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs) in the second round. The young 22-year-old King Ryan kept pressing and eventually caught him with a left to the body to knock him out in the seventh.
Ryan was looking for that one shot the entire fight, and he finally landed it in the seventh when he went downstairs with a left to the midsection. Campbell, 33, went down like he’d been shot.
You could tell that Campbell was in a great deal of pain, and he wasn’t going to get up from that. Even if he had gotten back up, he’d been finished off immediately by Ryan.
In round five, Ryan came close to knocking out Campbell when he caught him with a left to the head in the final seconds.
The shot caused Campbell to turn his back to Ryan. You can argue that the fight should have been stopped at that point because Campbell turned his back, but referee Lawrence Cole let it continue.
He captured the interim WBC lightweight title with Ryan’s win, making him the mandatory WBC 135lb champion Devin Haney. The interim strap that Ryan won is an inconsequential title and is meaningless.
Ryan doesn’t need that belt to get a title shot against Haney, as he could fight him any time he wants. That’s just the World Boxing Council throwing one of their trinket belts in for notoriety.
After the fight, the crowd made it clear that they don’t want to see Ryan fight Haney next. When Ryan asked the fans if they want to see him face Haney next, they booed loudly.
Haney was in the audience, and he looked embarrassed. The fight that Ryan says he wants now is WBA lightweight champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, who is going to agree to the match likely.
Ryan Garcia’s post-fight comments
“I think I showed a lot of people who I really am,” said Ryan Garcia in giving his thoughts moments after knocking out Campbell.
“Going into this fight, I wanted to show people that whatever they call you, they wanted to call me a social media fighter, and they wanted to call me a lot of names.
“Your teacher may call you names, your parents or anybody that puts you down and tries to tell you that you can’t be something, remember that you’re not who people tell you are.
You’re who you choose to be. I chose to be a champion tonight. I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. Even when he dropped me, I got back up.
It was a good shot, I was cold, and he caught me. I was like, ‘Oh, I got dropped. This is crazy.’ I’ve never been dropped in my life. I think I got a little too excited over the moment.
I knew I was in control, but I wanted to dog him. I just felt like I could crack him, but he cracked me. So I had to adjust. I’m going to calm down because I knew I could beat him.
I just had to get right back up and show everybody what a warrior is really like. That’s why I got on my shoulder, warrior, baby. That’s my first tattoo.
I was a little dizzy, I’m not going to lie,” said Ryan Garcia when asked what was going through his head after he was knocked down by Campbell in round two.
“I thought, ‘It’s not that bad. What’s the worst this guy is going to try and do? Come at me; I’ll block.’ I wasn’t too worried. Luke Campbell has never fought in his life coming forward.
So I knew that he was going to back up. Naturally, I’m a counter puncher, but I showed that I could take it to somebody and knock them out.
So I’m thrilled with my performance. One thing, I’m a man of my word. Let’s go, Tank. I’m ready, let’s go,” said Ryan Garcia in calling out Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis.
“Don’t forget, I see you, Devin. Shout out to Devin Haney. I like him. We got a rivalry, but I want to fight him too. I want to fight everybody.
Ah, I want to be a man of my word. I want to fight Tank. I know people are worried about that one. I’m ready for that one. This fight an Olympic gold medalist [Luke Campbell].
At the time, pound-for-pound [Vasily] Lomachenko couldn’t stop him. [Jorge] Linares dropped him but couldn’t finish him. I showed today that I’m special.
I told everybody it was going to be a body shot. I knew it was going to be a body shot a long time ago. Let’s go, Texas. Stand up, Texas, let’s go. Yeah, he was anxious about that hook coming,” said Ryan Garcia about his knockout of Campbell.
“I had that hook since I was born. So he thought I was going up top, and I just changed directions on him real quick. Devin Haney is going to be an opponent.
Of course, I want to fight him. I want to fight Tank first, of course, but you know, if we can make Devin, let’s make Devin. Why not? Let’s go,” said Ryan. At this point, Ryan was booed loudly by the Texas fans, who let him know they don’t want to see him fight Haney next.
“Who do you guys want? We want Tank. We want Tank. Did you hear them? Let’s go. I just wanted to thank him,” said Ryan when asked what he said to Canelo Alvarez after the fight.
“Without the Reynoso’s and Canelo being by my side, I don’t know if I would have learned all the things that I learned. I’m always grateful of having a good team around me.
I’m blessed to have such a great team of Eddy [Reynoso] and Canelo. They’re amazing guys, they take me under their wing, and they show me the ropes. I thank you guys with all my heart, thank you,” said Ryan Garcia.