Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
“He looks like he carries power and he has speed. We’ll soon find out, won’t we?”
Last Updated: 02/07/20 8:14pm
Luke Campbell insists that it is “hard to see” if Ryan Garcia’s ability matches his reputation because he has never fought “someone of quality”.
Hull’s Campbell has been ordered by the WBC to contend for its interim lightweight title against Garcia, an unbeaten 22-year-old who is one of American boxing’s most feted talents.
“I know he has mentioned my name in the past but what he says and what he does are two completely different things,” Campbell told Sky Sports about Garcia.
“I’m well up for this fight.
“He is a big name, he draws a lot of attention. He looks like he carries power and he has speed.
“We’ll soon find out, won’t we?”
Garcia has 6.6 million Instagram followers but Campbell laughed off: “He has a hell of a following but they won’t help him in the ring.”
Garcia and 21-year-old Devin Haney, a fellow WBC titleholder, are two of America’s most prodigious young boxers but Campbell remains unconvinced.
“It’s hard to see what they are about until they have been in the ring with someone of quality who has a good CV,” he said.
“By the amount of fights they have had, I had already beaten two former world champions.
“Neither of them have fought a former world champion yet.
“Time will tell.”
The WBC currently have several lightweight belts in circulation.
Vasiliy Lomachenko, who beat Campbell last year for the WBA, WBC and WBO titles, is now recognised as the WBC ‘franchise’ champion.
Haney was therefore upgraded from interim to full champion despite being briefly labelled “champion in recess” while he overcame an injury.
Campbell and Garcia, who has replaced Javier Fortuna, will battle for the interim title.
Fortuna is instead facing Jorge Linares for the ‘diamond’ belt.
Campbell acknowledged the situation was “frustrating” but insisted he will not complete his world title dream by beating Garcia: “No, because it’s the interim, not the actual full title.
“I thought I was the champion when I beat Linares but I didn’t get the decision. I’m not so I can’t say that I am. But I thought I won seven out of 12 rounds against him.
“I’m not going to say that I’m the champion until I’ve got the proper belt.
“I just want to be a world champion so I’ll do whatever it takes, beat whoever is in my way, and the rest will just fall into place.”
Campbell said about his brave loss to pound-for-pound phenom Lomachenko: “I don’t see it as an impressive performance. I can be so much better. With a few tweaks and adjustments, I will be so much better, and that’s what I’ve been working on since that fight.
“I honestly do think that fight was the making of me but I have to continue to perform and beat whoever is in front of me.
“I don’t look at that fight and think: ‘I did good’. I look at it and think: ‘I can be so much better’.
“There’s not many people calling out Lomachenko, put it that way.
“I don’t think he would be keen to give me a rematch because he knows what a hard fight it is.”
Lomachenko will next face unbeaten IBF champion Teofimo Lopez.
“Lopez is a class fighter with a lot of skill,” Campbell said. “But Lomachenko is in his own league and he will win the fight and move on. It is a cracking fight.
“Lopez looks like he has power, speed and skill. But Lomachenko’s IQ of boxing is another level. If you hit him with one shot, you’re not hitting him with that shot again. He is very, very smart.
“I would love a rematch with him one day.”