The team at Golden Boy Promotions was as confident in reaching a deal for the biggest test of Ryan Garcia's career as they are of the unbeaten lightweight passing with flying colors.
For the second time in the span of a week, the teams for Garcia and England’s Luke Campbell (20-3, 16KOs) were able to avoid a purse bid hearing surrounding their ordered World Boxing Council (WBC) interim lightweight title fight. This time around, it was to deliver the good news that the fight is officially ready to move forward with both sides agreeing to terms.
“Ryan Garcia versus Luke Campbell is a done deal,” Oscar de la Hoya, chairman and CEO of Golden Boy told BoxingScene.com, echoing the sentiments from the canceled purse bid last week. “This is a very important fight, so negotiations took some time. Nevertheless, we are really looking forward to promoting this fight.”
The matchup has been in discussion for most of the summer, after having been ordered by the WBC in early July. At the time, Garcia (20-0, 17KOs) was presented with the choice of facing Campbell for an interim title, or a World Boxing Organization (WBO) title eliminator versus Ghana’s Emmanuel Tagoe (31-1, 15KOs) which—with a win—would have put him in line to face the winner of the World lightweight championship between Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-1, 11KOs) and Teofimo Lopez (15-0, 12KOs).
The 22-year old rising contender from Victorville, California settled on a fight with Campbell, which left Golden Boy Promotions and Matchroom Boxing—the two primary boxing content providers for sports streaming service DAZN-USA—to work out the terms.
Seven weeks and two canceled purse bid hearings later, the two are set to square off later this year.
As evidenced by the two separate purse bid hearings—both of which were held via Zoom conference call—a fair amount of drama and intrigue surrounded the fight.
“I’m very sorry to give the media the bad news again, but we finally reached an agreement,” Eddie Hearn, managing director of Matchroom Boxing—Campbell’s promoter—confirmed last week. “Just to give a bit of clarity—we had some issues around the contract that we sent to Golden Boy, that they weren’t happy with. They’re well within their right to do that. We’ve worked it out, we only had 24 hours to work it out.
“The fight will take place in America. Robert and Eric Gomez (president of GBP) will work on the date, which looks like it will be middle-to-end of November. Eric will announce that in due course.”
Campbell has fought at the title stage before, though resulting in two of his three career losses. The 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist from Hull, England came up just short in a 12-round decision defeat to Jorge Linares in September 2017, before fighting his way back into contention following a September 2018 unanimous decision victory over France’s Yvan Mendy—avenging his first career defeat in the process.
An entertaining but decisive 12-round loss to Lomachenko last August in London served as Campbell’s last piece of ring action. Still, the highly-rated lightweight poses by far the most notable challenge to date for Garcia, who enters on the heels of back-to-back 1st round knockouts of Francisco Fonseca and Romero Duno.
“A test of this magnitude will show everyone that Ryan Garcia has what it takes to be the best lightweight in the world,” insists de la Hoya, whose team has already begun to seek out a date and location for the event. “Details are still being figured out, but we know that we will stage it on the West Coast. We will make a full announcement in the coming weeks.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox