NEW YORK – Ryan Garcia agrees with the consensus, that his upcoming fight against Gervonta Davis should amount to the most difficult assignment of his six-year professional career.
Garcia nonetheless cautioned those that have downplayed his most noteworthy win – a seventh-round knockout of Luke Campbell two years ago – to keep in mind that his high-profile showdown with Davis might turn out to be an easier fight. Like Davis, England’s Campbell is a southpaw, yet at 5-foot-9 the taller, rangier Campbell presented different challenges than the 5-foot-6 Davis will offer April 22 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“You know, Luke Campbell, you gotta understand that it causes different problems,” Garcia told a small group of reporters after a press conference Wednesday at Palladium Times Square. “He’s a taller fighter. His shots will hit me at a different range. [Davis] has to really come up and hit me.
“It’s much different. It’s a much different fight. So, you never know – this one may be easier. You just don’t know. Yes, at face value he’s the tougher fighter, you know, on paper. But you just don’t know. You just don’t know.”
The 28-year-old Davis definitely is a bigger puncher than Campbell.
The Baltimore native has knocked out 93 percent of his professional opponents (28-0, 26 KOs). The retired Campbell, who won a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, finished his career with a 67-percent knockout ratio (20-4, 16 KOs).
Campbell dropped Garcia with a left hand from long range midway through the second round of their January 2021 bout at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Garcia got up quickly, recovered and eventually stopped Campbell with a left hook to the body in the seventh round to win the WBC interim lightweight title.
The 24-year-old Garcia (23-0, 19 KOs) has boxed only twice since he beat Campbell, but with an eye on fighting Davis this year, he made sure to oppose a southpaw in his last fight. The Victorville, California native dropped Dominican veteran Javier Fortuna (37-4-1, 26 KOs, 2 NC) once apiece in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds en route to a sixth-round knockout July 16 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
Two of Garcia’s past three fights have come against left-handed opponents, including the Campbell bout.
“I did that on purpose,” Garcia said, “just so I could have, you know, more of a feel for a southpaw, where the punches are coming. And, you know, everything was preparation for this big fight.”
Davis and Garcia will meet at a contracted catch weight of 136 pounds. Showtime Pay-Per-View will televise their 12-rounder as the main event of a four-fight broadcast next month.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
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