Ryan Garcia withstood an early knockdown to score a seventh-round knockout victory over Luke Campbell and claim the vacant WBC interim lightweight title at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Saturday.
According to Badlefthook, the knockout punch came on a vicious body shot, and Campbell was not able to answer the count of referee Laurence Cole in time. It’s the first time in his career that Campbell has been stopped.
“I think I showed a lot of people who I really am,” Garcia said after the fight. “They wanted to call me a social media fighter and a lot of names. Anybody who tries to put you down, remember, you’re not who people tell you you are, you’re who you choose to be.”
Garcia didn’t deny that the second round knockdown was a strong punch from Campbell, or that it didn’t shake him some, admitting he was “dizzy” but that overall it wasn’t too bad. It was, he says, the first time he’s ever been dropped.
“I got up, it was a good shot, and he caught me, man. I was like, ‘Yo! I got dropped, this is crazy!’” Garcia said “I think I got a little too excited in the moment. I felt like I could crack him, but he cracked me. So I had to adjust. I had to get back and show everybody what a warrior really is like.”
The young Golden Boy star remains on the rise with this win, obviously, and he kept to his promise, calling out Gervonta “Tank” Davis, and also Devin Haney, who was in attendance.
“I’m a man of my word: Let’s go, Tank! Let’s go! And I see you, Devin Haney!” Garcia said. “I like him, but I want to fight him, too. But I really want to fight Tank. I know people are worried about that one, but I’m ready. I fought at an Olympic gold medalist (in Campbell). Lomachenko couldn’t stop him. Linares couldn’t finish him. I showed today that I’m special.”
Garcia then led the crowd in a “We Want Tank!” chant to close his interview: