Luke Campbell on Ryan Garcia: “He’s good, he’s fast, he’s got good skills, but I just believe in myself”; the British lightweight can secure a world title fight if he defeats the highly-rated Californian this weekend
By Richard Damerell
Luke Campbell says Ryan Garcia will soon find out whether or not he can become America’s new boxing star when they share the ring in a crucial lightweight clash.
Britain’s two-time world title challenger is attempting to secure another shot at one of the division’s champions, but he must firstly overcome the highly-rated Garcia, who has gained a 20-fight unbeaten record, along with a massive social media following.
The Californian’s career is guided by Oscar De La Hoya, the original ‘Golden Boy’ of American boxing, and the 22-year-old will be expected to deliver another dramatic victory, but Campbell has paid little attention to the pre-fight hype.
“I want to prove that I’m the best in the division, and I believe that I’m the best in the division,” Campbell told DAZN at the final press conference.
“He’s good, he’s fast, he’s got good skills, but I just believe in myself.”
Asked if Garcia can justify his reputation, Campbell said: “We’ll soon find out on Saturday night.”
Garcia, who stopped his last two opponents inside the opening round, is yet to reach the full 12-round distance, but he was quick to dismiss concerns about his stamina.
“There’s a lot of unanswered questions, but that’s because I haven’t had a chance to display that,” Garcia told DAZN.
“If they took me to 10 rounds, 12 rounds, I would have went those rounds, but I haven’t given them the chance, because I’ve seen a shot and I took it.
“Now if Luke can do it, he’ll do it. I’ve trained for a war, because I know Luke is a tough guy. When he gets hit, when he gets dropped, he gets up, he keeps fighting. If he can take the shot and he gets dropped, I’ve seen him get up and fight on, so I think that it might be a good fight.”
The Garcia-Campbell winner will become mandatory challenger for Devin Haney, who holds the WBC lightweight belt.
In his last fight, Campbell emerged with credit from a points loss to Vasiliy Lomachenko, in a battle for WBC, WBA and WBO belts, but the 33-year-old insists he can raise his standards even higher.
“Everybody says that I performed well, but me myself, I know I didn’t really perform to the best of my ability,” said the London 2012 Olympic gold medallist.
“When I watch that fight back, I can be so much better than that. Ever since that, I’ve trained, I’ve strived to be the best I can be, and the best version I can be for this fight.”