CALIFORNIA—On January 2, boxer Ryan Garcia, 22, faced off against Luke Campbell, 33, in front of roughly 6,000 fans at the American Airlines Center. Gracia won the WBC lightweight title in the 7th round by technical knockout. Garcia has a boxing record of 21-0 with 18 being knock outs.
Campbell has a record of 20-4 with 16 being knock out finishes. The British boxer was a former title challenger, 2012 gold medalist, and the first contender to knock Garcia to the ground during a match.
During the second round Campbell threw a left hook, that caught Garcia in the chin. “I think I got a little too excited over the moment,” said Garcia.
During the third round Garcia regained his bearings. Leading into the fifth round, Garcia hit Campbell with a with a left hook, sending him into the ropes just as referee Laurence Cole stepped in between the two boxers signaling end of the round.
Both fighters battled it out for two more rounds before Garcia, sent Campbell to his knees with a hook shot to the body. As the ref began to count down, Campbell was unable to return to his feet, waved the fight over crowning Garcia as the new WBC lightweight champion.
“That was the hardest shot I was ever hit with,” Campbell said. “I tried and tried to get up, but I couldn’t. I felt him coming on, and I was moving back, and when you move back, my body relaxed a little bit, and that’s the exact time he hit me.”
Campbell acknowledged Garcia after the fight on Twitter stating: “Well done and a massive future ahead for him. I wish him all the best.”
“You’re not who people tell you [you] are,” Garcia said in his post fight interview on DAZN. “You’re who you choose to be. And I chose to be a champion tonight. I wasn’t going to let nothing stop me.”
Canyon News reached out to Garcia’s team, but did not hear back before print.