Amidst Twitter “beef” and face-to-face confrontations between Golden Boy sensation Ryan “The Flash” Garcia and famous Youtuber turned DAZN recruit Jake Paul, boxing fans feared Garcia’s fight against Luke Campbell would once again be delayed at the opportunity for a social media megafight against the Paul brother instead.
Following extensions for careful negotiations, however, Ryan Garcia finally took to Twitter this morning to announce the official fight date with the former Olympian, calling it a “Start of an era.” The lightweight contest for the WBC Interim Lightweight Title will take place on Dec. 5, streaming on DAZN. The location for the fight has yet to be revealed, though most speculate it could be either in Los Angeles or the U.K.
The Golden Boy himself, Oscar De La Hoya, also took to Twitter to express his commitment to promoting this significant step-up fight for their most prominent prospect, who would turn into a legitimate contender should he rise victorious against the more-seasoned southpaw. With Ryan Garcia’s whooping social media following, about 8.5 million combined in just Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube, DAZN would surely benefit from more subscriptions from teenagers who’d ask their parents for their credit cards as well as returning fans who had previously canceled their subscriptions due to the lack of quality cards from the streaming app.
A 2012 Olympic gold medalist, Campbell serves not only as Garcia’s toughest and most accomplished competition to date, but as a possibility for the rising star to make the statement he isn’t just a pretty face and a Fashion Nova and Savage by Fenty underwear model, but also a legitimate threat to the division. The two-time title contender may have failed against Jorge Linares and Vasyl Lomachenko, but his performance against arguably the number one pound for pound in August of last year was competitive enough for some fans to favor Campbell over Garcia.
Both fighters have similar professional records with 20 victories, and Garcia with one more knockout victory than Campbell, who has earned 16 wins via KO. Perhaps the most intriguing factor, Campbell has yet to suffer a knockout loss or appear severely hurt against any opponent in his professional career. With Garcia’s impressive knockout highlight reel, including his most recent devastating first-round Valentine’s Day knockout against Francisco Fonseca, one can only wonder if his speed could counter-attack the slick southpaw and cause a similar outcome.
As previously stated by De La Hoya, Garcia was expected to fight Golden Boy stablemate and former world champion Jorge “Niño de Oro” Linares at the Staples Center in July, but further negotiations were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the WBC interim title winner could be in line for a possible title shot against current WBC World Lightweight Champion Devin Haney, should Garcia win, he’s previously listed a very specific order in which he wishes to fight notable opponents.
“I had a plan for 2020 and that was to shock the world,” Garcia said in his February post-fight interview. “So I’m about to shock the world. Beat Linares, Beat Luke Campbell, Beat Gervonta Davis, then I’m gonna go after Devin.”
Though the pandemic may have derailed Garcia’s plans to follow that order, the opportunity to shock the world remains with this compelling fight against Luke Campbell. Whether he delivers another tremendous knockout or gets the rug swept off from under his feet against a credible opponent, the boxing world would surely have their eyes glued to their screens, and possibly their butts to venue seating should regulations permit fans in attendance by December.