This Saturday night, Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN presents a huge lightweight battle between undefeated contender Ryan Garcia (20-0) and Luke Campbell (20-3). This fight is a WBC Eliminator, and the winner will be in line for an even bigger fight later on in the year.
This one is intriguing as we all know what Luke Campbell brings to the table. The real question is how Ryan Garcia looks against his toughest opponent to date, in Texas. I really like this fight and believe that the timing is just right. In one corner, we have Garcia who is on the express lane to stardom. While in the other corner, we have Campbell, who comes up short in big fights.
To look at this fight from more than just my view, I brought in Jacob Rodriguez, who is the creator and host of “The No Standing 8 Boxing Talk” on YouTube. Here is what he had to say about Luke Campbell and what can be looked at as some keys to victory.
Two-time world title challenger Luke Campbell isn't a stranger to the thrills, excitement, and skills that surround a major prizefight. The tough British fighter lost a close split decision to Jorge Linares and gave a good showing of himself against the highly skilled Lomachenko until he suffered a knockdown in the 12th round of their fight.
These two fights have provided Campbell a unique knowledge and confidence that only world title fights can provide. However, experience alone will not be enough if he wants to beat the highly skilled and explosive puncher that is Ryan Garcia.
Ryan Garcia doesn't have the experience that a world title match provides. However, he does have the speed and power to make a tough or a short fight for Luke Campbell. If Luke Campbell wants to be victorious Saturday night, he will need to combine his experience with a solid fight plan. Campbell’s first order of business is to neutralize Garcia’s speed by establishing an effective and consistent jab. Campbell needs to double up his jab to prevent Garcia from settling into a rhythm and throw off his timing.
Second, he needs to establish ring generalship. Most of Garcia's success comes from his opponents allowing him to stand in the center of the ring and use his long reach to fire combinations at will.
Ryan Garcia's toughest fight was against Carlos Morales.
Morales made things uncomfortable for Garcia by closing the gap, smothering him, and not allowing Garcia to fire from the outside. Campbell needs to keep the fight in close quarters and bully Garcia much as Morales did. He needs to position himself inside of Garcia’s reach. Once he closes that gap, Campbell must relentlessly fire off combinations to the body, arms, and head of Garcia.
Lastly, Campbell needs to take advantage of Garcia's flaws. At times, Garcia tends not to bring his jab back fast enough to protect his face. This leaves him open for a counter right hand, a punch Morales landed against Garcia successfully. Additionally, Garcia has a bad habit of widening his punches during exchanges. If Campbell can throw an overhand right over the top of one of Garcia’s lazy jabs or wide punches, it could be all she wrote for the young Garcia Saturday night.
I’ve been watching Ryan Garcia closely since 2016 as he opened up one of the first fight cards I attended in Southern California. There was something different about him and you can just tell that he was going to be someone. It’s why I had him on the Everlast Talkbox show because something told me he was going to become a star in the sport. Here we are now, a few years later and his pop culture appeal is larger than the majority of the champions out there.
This is arguably Ryan’s biggest fight so far in his career. Luke Campbell is a crafty southpaw who also won a gold medal at the Olympics in 2012. He has hung with the best, showed that he belonged at that level but has come up short each time.
In this fight, Ryan has to keep the fight in the middle of the ring within mid-level range. Campbell has a tendency of leaving the right hand low when he throws his shots while also being squared up. The key for Garcia in this one will be the counter left hook upstairs. Campbell will be looking for that early which means Ryan will need to throw that straight right hand down the middle. This will make Campbell pay more attention to it and then when he least expects it, the counter left hook from Ryan will come crashing in.
Looking at the Linares fight, Campbell had a hard time picking up the speed early. This is why Linares was dominating the early rounds but then gassed out. Ryan’s speed is quicker and twitchier than Linares. Comparing it to a MLB fastball: Linares is low to mid 90’s while Ryan is that plus plus fastball. Garcia will have to rely on his youth, speed and power in order to defeat the veteran Campbell.
Jacob’s Fight Prediction
Saturday should be a thrilling event packed with two different boxing styles that will make for an exciting fight. I expect Campbell to execute a fight plan much as he did against Linares. The young Garcia will attempt to keep things in the center of the ring where he is comfortable to use his reach advantage and speed to keep Campbell at bay. Campbell will attempt to smother and bully Garcia into a grueling inside fight. However, Garcia’s speed and explosive power punch will be too much for Campbell. I expect Garcia to knock out Campbell late in the fight by either a straight right or a left hook to the body.
My Three Cents:
We have yet to see the best version of Ryan Garcia because he is still learning and growing. I think Ryan Garcia knocks out Luke Campbell in under six rounds and sends a shockwave through the boxing world.
This card starts early so that fans in the UK can enjoy the fight in primetime. The stars are aligning and if things happen the way I think they do, we are in for a treat in 2021.
Who is ready for the next Super Fight between two young fighters in their prime? We all are so if Garcia wins, get ready for Ryan vs Tank on July 4th at the Staples Center!
You can catch this event live on DAZN this Saturday at 3pm PST, 5pm CST and 6pm EST.
Also, check out more content from myself and Jacob on “The Smoker Boxing Lounge” on YouTube.