Luke Campbell came up short against Ryan Garcia but doesn’t have to rush his next move
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Luke Campbell proved what a class act he is in and out of the ring against Ryan Garcia.
Credit to Garcia, whose stunning victory over Campbell sets up a terrific year in a lightweight division packed with talent.
Campbell is still in the shake-up but after a tough loss needs to take his time to decide his next move.
A fighter with an Olympic gold medal in his pocket, who has fought the best in world title bouts, certainly has nothing to prove.
He gave Jorge Linares, a great champion, all he could handle in a split decision loss many thought he won.
He came up short against Vasyl Lomachenko, but so did everybody else before Teofimo Lopez caught him off guard.
Ryan Garcia celebrates his victory
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Ryan Garcia KOs Luke Campbell with brutal body shot
And he put up a great performance against Garcia. But as he acknowledged immediately after the fight, he was in with someone very special.
Whoever Garcia is matched against next it is clear he has the potential to be boxing’s next crossover superstar.
I was very impressed. He had a real gut check against Campbell and came through it.
That shot that dropped him in the second round would have knocked out most lightweights. He just got up and walked straight back into him.
Garcia’s eyes were crystal clear and his legs rock solid.
Campbell is a slick counter puncher. He drops single shots. He does not run into you with volume punches.
We knew it would be a cagey, clever, rear-guard action by Campbell. The plan was to up the pace in the second half of the fight.
But Garcia showed he had real guts and can adapt. People said Campbell should have jumped on him, but when he did at the end of the fifth he was nailed with a counter.
The target that was offered in the second round was no longer available. Garcia did not drop his right hand again.
What he did do was show that he can take and land a shot. He is quick, heavy handed and explosive.
Garcia has a great chance against Devin Haney, who did not get rid of veteran Cuban Yuri Gamboa in what was a pretty low-key performance last time out.
Lopez is the standout. And Gervonta Davis’ power makes him a real threat but he can be inconsistent and unreliable.
Garcia is as fast as any flyweight and has the power of a light middle, so nobody is going to be relishing that.
They will be encouraged that Campbell dropped him but discouraged by the way he responded.
Always the sign of a great champion.
Follow Barry on Twitter at @ClonesCyclone, @McGuigans_Gym and @CyclonePromo