A highly anticipated match between Ryan Garcia (20-0-0) and Luke Campbell (20-3-0) for the interim WBC lightweight championship has been postponed. The fight was originally scheduled for Dec. 5 but Campbell tested positive for COVID-19 in early November. After a scramble to find a new date, we now know that the official date is Jan. 2.
Campbell and Garcia are both highly ranked lightweights, #4 and #5 respectively by The Ring magazine, and there is plenty of excitement surrounding this fight. The winner is expected to get a shot at facing Devin Haney for the WBC lightweight title.
Garcia is coming into this match off an incredible hot streak. He’s remained undefeated since making his professional debut in 2016, winning 17 of his 20 fights by knockout. Garcia showed promise from early on, winning fifteen amateur championships and earning ESPN’s 2017 prospect of the year honors.
Garcia’s fight against Campbell may be his toughest challenge yet. Of the two, Campbell is the more experienced fighter, and high may give him an edge over Garcia. He won a Gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics and has competed in several title fights, most recently in 2019 where he lost via decision against Vasyl Lomachenko for the then vacated WBC lightweight championship. Campbell could earn himself another chance at the title with a win.
At only 22 years of age, Garcia isn’t shy about his chances against Campbell. In an interview with Kevin Hart of all people, Garcia laid down his expectations for the fight.
“This fight is going to be the biggest fight of my life so far,” Garcia explained. “I know I’m gonna beat Luke Campbell and knock him out within three rounds and I’m very...sure 100% sure.”
Campbell showed some confidence of his own in an interview with Chris Mannix. On his strategy to win the fight, Campbell said he’s gonna hit Garcia “as much as I can as often as I can,” and that he’s “coming to win.”
Garcia has a couple key advantages going for him, namely his youth and the fact he’s been able to train continuously while Campbell has had to put his own training on pause while recovering from COVID. Garcia was also the odds on favorite at -200 before the fight was rescheduled. Campbell is more than capable of holding his own, however, and shouldn’t be counted out. The fight will be streaming on DAZN with the time still to be determined.