Undefeated lightweight star Ryan Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) began 2021 with a bang - when he knocked out 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Luke Campbell in the seventh round.
The spectacular victory gave Garcia the WBC interim-lightweight title.
The contest saw Garcia get dropped hard, the first knockdown of his pro career, in the second round. He came back in the seventh with a vicious body shot to knock Campbell out.
“That victory did a lot for me, it showed people who I really am. A lot of people had questions leading up to that fight, can Ryan take the punches? Can Ryan fight at the elite level against an Olympic medalist? This boxer had great fights against Jorge Linares and Vasyl Lomachenko, but neither one knocked him out. First, I showed that I can take hits, I fell and got back up, and then I knocked him out with a body shot. If you had questions about whether I could hit the body, now you know," Garcia told ESPN Deportes.
Garcia, who is mentored by Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, with whom he also shares a trainer in Eddy Reynoso, feels ready for any challenge and wants to continue growing in his career.
At the moment, there are talks that Garcia can face eight division champion Manny Pacquiao - in what would be a big fight for both.
“This time I'll take Manny's torch, it's my turn. I will be the fighter to do it. That fight will break records, I'm telling you,” said Garcia.
“People are underestimating what the current era of social media means and how powerful it is. My post (on Instagram) mentioning Manny, you can't imagine the numbers and what it sparked. They will see what this fight will be (with the push by social media).
“(To beat) Gervonta (Davis) and Manny (Pacquiao) in the same year, that would be my perfect 2021. I can't wait to see what happens, it will be beautiful and I'm excited."