Rising lightweight boxing star Ryan Garcia started off 2021 with a bang, scoring a 7th round knockout win over former world title contender Luke Campbell to win the interim WBC Lightweight championship. The win allows him to remain unbeaten, improving his record to 21-0 with 18 wins by knockout.
This was Garcia’s first fight since February 14, 2020, when he beat Francisco Fonseca in a spectacular first-round knockout. Meanwhile, Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs) had not been in the ring since August 2019, when he unsuccessfully challenged Vasyl Lomachenko for the WBC, WBA and WBO Lightweight titles losing via unanimous decision.
This fight was seen as Ryan Garcia’s biggest test of his professional career. Campbell was his first opponent that has challenged for a world title in the Lightweight class.
Garcia started the fight well, using faints to find his shots in the first round effectively. Campbell looked to control the distance with his jab, using his movement to defend himself against Ryan Garcia’s onslaught.
In round two, Ryan Garcia saw his first true glimpse of adversity as a pro as Luke Campbell dropped him with a left hook to the chin. He showed great toughness by getting off the canvas and remaining aggressive through the remainder of the round.
Rounds three and four were very close rounds as both fighters had great success in each round, sticking to their game plan and landing timely shots.
Towards the end of round five, Garcia hurt Campbell for the first time after a left hook to the temple. It looked as if Campbell was coming close to dropping to the canvas, but the bell saved him. Garcia came into round six aggressively looking for the stoppage, but Campbell remained composed with his hands up to defend himself from the barrage of punches thrown at him.
Midway through the seventh round, Ryan Garcia hit Luke Campbell hook to the liver that made him take a knee and unable to answer the count to score the knockout win.
This gave Garcia his fifth straight win via knockout and Luke Campbell his first ever loss by knockout.
In his post-fight interview, Ryan Garcia called out WBC Lightweight world champion Devin Haney and WBA Lightweight champion Gervonta Davis.