DALLAS—Ryan Garcia is surrounded by too much greatness to let any type of adversity stand in the way of achieving his goals.
The unbeaten lightweight contender proved his mettle in his most recent performance, climbing off of canvas to drop and stop England’s Luke Campbell in the 7th round of their interim title fight. Garcia hit the deck for the first time in his career, going down from an overhand left by Campbell midway through round two before dusting himself off and showing to the world there is just as much substance as there is style to his game.
“Like I’ve been saying all week, it just goes to show you’re not who people say you are. You are who you choose to be,” García told BoxingScene.com after his latest win, live on DAZN in front of a sold-out crowd at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. “They thought I was a soft pretty boy who hasn’t earned anything, that I’ve been given everything.
“That same lesson I learned as a child is what I proved tonight—nothing is given to you. My family struggled a lot and I knew if I got dropped, I’d get up and give a hell of a performance. I was training for 12 rounds, I was ready to go places I’ve never been before in my career.”
Moments after rising from the canvas, García regained control and never looked back. Campbell remained tough until a left hook to the body put the British southpaw down and out for good in round seven. From there immediately began the celebration for García, first with 2019 Trainer of the Year Eddy Reynoso and pound-for-pound king Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (54-1-2, 36KOs), who made the trip for no other reason than to support his young stablemate.
“I’m blessed to have such a great team behind me with Eddy and Canelo,” García humbly admits of the team he joined in October 2018 and has now been a part of through his last five fights. “They took me under their wing and showed me the ropes.
“Being around them and watching someone like Canelo who’s just on a whole other dimension, you can only become greater by learning from this team every day. Being around that type of greatness and knowledge, I won’t let that go to waste.”
Soon thereafter came the embrace with and seal of approval from García’s promoter, Hall-of-Fame former six division champion Oscar de la Hoya.
Simply put, all involved parties couldn’t have been more thrilled with the 22-year old’s in-ring gut check, particularly against an Olympic Gold medalist and two-time title challenger who has never been stopped. That includes his climbing off the canvas to go the distance with Jorge Linares and then-top pound-for-pound entrant Vasiliy Lomachenko in separate title fights.
“I think this was the best Luke Campbell, in my opinion. He came with his best,” believes García. “But I told everyone I was going to end this fight with a body shot to knock him out. Once I landed that left hook, I knew he wasn’t going to want to fight anymore.
“The guy that won two Gold medals, Lomachenko couldn’t him take him out. Neither could Linares, who’s explosive. I’m 22 years old and got off the canvas to knock him out.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox