Ryan Garcia picked up the biggest win of his career, with the popular 22-year-old beating Luke Campbell and establishing himself as a true contender at 135 lbs. He stopped Campbell with a 7th-round body shot, but what’s more impressive is that Garcia had to survive a knockdown earlier as well.
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya gave him an “A+” grade for the win, and said that Garcia is finally a “man” now.
“It was like a flash knockdown, right? But it was a scary flash knockdown,” De La Hoya told Fight Hub. “And he became a man, that’s all there is to it. He became a man tonight. He needed this fight for validation. He needed this fight to prove to the boxing world that he belongs in there, and he passed with flying colors.
“He did what every great champion does, get right back up. Especially from a really vicious right hook, it was a vicious right hook.”
“A-plus. A-plus! He did what he had to do. He took his time, he went after him when he had him hurt in (the sixth round). People went crazy, and that’s the making of a superstar.”
De La Hoya also spoke about the possibility of fighting WBC champion Devin Haney next “when Ryan is ready.” If it pushes through, it would be Garcia’s first crack at a real title.
“Yeah, we could possibly see that happen when we’re ready, when Ryan is ready. Obviously Ryan is ready to face anybody, that’s never a doubt. But it’s gonna be on our terms of Ryan Garcia. And it doesn’t mean business or this and that. No, when he’s ready, when he wants to. Every champion out there needs Ryan Garcia, it’s not the other way around.”
De La Hoya and Garcia hasn’t had the perfect working relationship, with the promoter and fighter publicly clashing multiple times in the past. They previously argued about money as Garcia wasn’t happy about his $250,000 minimum contracted purse. He reportedly got a significantly higher guarantee for this contest.
De La Hoya lost his biggest superstar in Canelo Alvarez recently, and is also claiming to be preparing for a comeback fight of his own.