Ryan Garcia’s last two opponents in Romero Duno and Francisco Fonseca have failed to make it out of the first round.
If good things come in thirds, does that mean Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) will finish Luke Campbell inside of three minutes on Saturday at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas?
“That would be something, right, if I can get three knockouts in back-to-back-to-back fights. I don’t expect that. I don’t really ever expect that,” Garcia told BoxingScene.com in an interview. “If I see a shot there, I’ll take it. I’m going in there with a mindset that if it’s a tough night, I’ll be ready for it. I’ve been preparing for 12 rounds. If he brings it out of me, I will go into dog mode and get this victory.”
Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs), a 2012 Olympics gold medalist, and Garcia have been on a collision course to meet ever since Garcia switched his gears from Jorge Linares to the British boxer over the summer. They were originally scheduled to meet Dec. 5, but Campbell contracted COVID-19, and thus, the fight was delayed a month.
The Eddy Reynoso-trained Garcia said that the time off and ample notice for the Campbell fight has allowed him to better prepare.
“He says that he’s in his prime. He says that he’s finally there at 33. I guess it took him this long. If I beat him now, what does that say? I’m excited for this challenge,” said the 22-year-old Garcia. “If he’s at his best, that's how I want him. If he’s coming to knock me out, that’s great, because I’m coming to knock him out, too. It should be a good fight.”
Garcia’s strength and conditioning coach for the last three years, Cipriano Montes, said that Garcia will be sporting a noticeably larger upper body since his last fight in February due to his recommitment to nutrition, and to weight lifting three times a week at two hours a day during camp.
“He zeroed in on his proteins and carb intake,” Montes told BoxingScene.com in an interview. “We’re maintaining and building on his God-given strength and explosiveness. It’s crazy because he’s getting leaner. It’s all lean muscle now. It’s a different ballgame for him.”
Montes said Garcia can make 135 pounds for as long as they need to in order to land the legacy-defining fights at lightweight.
“I’ve been putting in a lot of work training with [Montes],” said Garcia. “I’ve been disciplined and 100% focused on my training, nutrition and sleep. Everything is on point, and you see the results.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com