Luke Campbell thought he could hang his hat on the effort he put up against Ryan Garcia in their lightweight fight last Saturday in Dallas, which ended with Campbell succumbing to a seventh-round body shot. But he is having second thoughts after being informed of what the judges scrawled on their scorecards.
“To me to win, I would have had to knock him out to win,” the 33-year-old Campbell told IFL TV shortly after arriving back home in England. “I thought it would be more fair on the scorecards, the scorecards, what I got told, were stupid, because for me it was a very competitive fight. Nothing much in the fight between us both by that point, but what some of those scorecards I was reading were so biased.”
The judges all had the 22-year-old Mexican-American ahead up until the seventh and final round. Rey Danseco had it 58-56, while Mark Lyson and Glenn Feldman had it 58-55, all for Garcia. Nelson and Feldman gave all the rounds to Garcia, except for the second round, the round in which Campbell scored a knockdown with an overhand left. Meanwhile, Danseco gave Campbell the fourth round, in addition to the second. For some reason, Danseco only gave Campbell a 10-9 advantage for round two, the round in which Campbell scored the knockdown.
“Now I’m thinking, bloody hell, it was probably lose-lose for me anyhow because if I had beaten him – which I would have never gotten a points decision anyhow, not with that scorecard – I would have had to knock him out to beat him,” Campbell said.
Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs) believes he would have been screwed even if he had knocked out Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs). The critics, he says, would have downplayed it as an obvious victory. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
“I wouldn’t have got the credit that deserved,” Campbell said. “I would have just beat an Instagram boxer, you know? In winning I would have lost anyhow. I don’t think there was a win-win in that for me whatsoever.”
Still, however embittered he was from the judges' tallies, Campbell was effusive in his praise for Garcia. He admitted that the fight-ending left to the body left him paralyzed and breathless for a good minute after the referee had waved off the bout.
“We all know his left hook is his best shot. He was throwing it to my head and I was blocking it well,” Campbell said. “As he moved I thought he was throwing it to the head but he whipped it and lifted up my ribcage. I stepped back and I couldn’t get my breath. Could not get my breath. I don’t know what to say myself. Couldn’t grab my breath even after the count after at least 60 second after the count. I was still struggling with my breath. That has never happened to me before and that’s one of the things that hurts me the most.”