Ryan Garcia reacted Thursday as if he has grown tired of hearing how he has never gone 12 rounds.
The popular, polarizing Garcia is scheduled to fight 12 rounds for the third time Saturday night against Luke Campbell. Only three of his 20 professional bouts before this fight for the WBC interim lightweight title have lasted past the fifth round, and none have gone beyond the 10th round.
England’s Campbell has gone the 12-round distance five times, but he is just 2-3 in those fights.
“It’s cuz I didn’t let it happen,” Garcia told DAZN moderator Todd Grisham during a press conference regarding why he hasn’t gone deep into fights. “That’s the only reason. But I’ve trained as hard as I can for 12 rounds, so if it happens to go that way, I will go that way. If he brings it out of me, if he’s tough, if he could take a shot, then that’s what’s gonna happen. But I’m ready for it, so you know, they could say all they want, that I can’t go 12 rounds. But when I get in there, I’ve trained as hard as I can to go a thousand rounds.”
The 33-year-old Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) has not been knocked out during his seven-year pro career. The 2012 Olympic gold medalist has been knocked down once apiece in four of his fights, though, and Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) has repeatedly predicted that he’ll become the first foe to stop Campbell inside the distance.
When Grisham mentioned that Garcia’s lack of experience deep into fights creates “unanswered questions,” Garcia interrupted him again.
“There’s a lot of unanswered questions, but that’s because I haven’t got the chance to display that,” Garcia said. “You understand? If they took me to 10 rounds, 12 rounds, I woulda went those rounds. But I haven’t gave them the chance because I’ve seen a shot, and I took it. Now, if Luke could do it, he will do it.”
The Victorville, California, native has gone the 10-round distance twice since making his pro debut in June 2016.
His most recent 10-rounder – a majority-decision victory over Carlos Morales in September 2018 – encouraged Garcia to hire renowned trainer Eddy Reynoso to work with him. Garcia is 4-0 with Reynoso in his corner, including back-to-back first-round knockouts of the Philippines’ Romero Duno (22-2, 17 KOs) and Costa Rica’s Francisco Fonseca (27-3-2, 21 KOs) in his past two fights.
Garcia recognizes that Campbell, a southpaw whose jab and ring generalship are among his best assets, is a significant step up in class.
“I expect this to be a great fight,” Garcia said. “I’ve trained for a war, cuz I know Luke is a, he’s a tough guy. You know, when he gets hit, when he gets dropped, he gets up, he keeps fighting. So, like I said, if he could take the shot, and he gets dropped, I’ve seen him get up and fight on. So, I think that it might be a good fight.”
DAZN’s coverage of the Garcia-Campbell card from American Airlines Center in Dallas is set to start Saturday at 8 p.m. GMT and 3 p.m. EST.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.