SAN ANTONIO – Eddie Hearn hopes Luke Campbell pulls off what would be considered a mild upset Saturday night.
Campbell’s promoter is well aware, of course, that his partners at DAZN want Ryan Garcia to conquer Campbell. A Garcia win would set up an appealing showdown with Devin Haney, who also is promoted by Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.
The third-ranked Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs), of Hull, England, and the fourth-ranked Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs), of Victorville, California, will fight for the WBC interim lightweight title. The winner will move into position to fight for Haney’s WBC world lightweight championship.
If Garcia beats Campbell at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Hearn cannot detect any obstacles that should keep Garcia from challenging Las Vegas’ Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) in his following fight.
“It has to happen next,” Hearn told BoxingScene.com recently. “DAZN have already said, ‘That’s the fight.’ Golden Boy knows. I mean, I think the general feeling is, away from me and most Brits, that Ryan Garcia wins that fight. Right? If that’s the case, DAZN has basically already said, ‘Golden Boy, Matchroom, that’s the fight. You make that in April. That will be the next fight for the both of them.’ But he’s gotta win.”
Hearn doesn’t think Garcia will shy away from fighting Haney if he overcomes Campbell in the main event of a five-fight card DAZN will stream (8 p.m. GMT; 3 p.m. EST; noon PST).
“You can’t fight a final eliminator, and then win, and not fight the champion,” Hearn said. “What’s the point? Why would you fight Luke Campbell otherwise? I mean, it’s a dangerous fight. But he’s fighting him because it’s for the interim title and it’s a final eliminator. So, if you win that fight, you fight the champion.”
Hearn acknowledged that a bout between those two undefeated, 22-year-old lightweights would be one of the most fascinating fights DAZN could offer in 2021.
“Well, Ryan Garcia’sgotta beat Luke Campbell,”Hearn said. “But in the event of Luke Campbell twisting his ankle in the fight, and Ryan Garcia winning that fight, [Haney-Garcia is a] tremendous fight. Sells out the Staples Center. Two young studs. You know, that’s a fight – when we talk aboutYouTube boxing … that’s the kind of fight that brings in a new generation of fans.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.