Olympic gold medalist and perennial lightweight title contender Luke “Cool Hand” Campbell took on rising star Ryan Garcia on January 2, 2020, for the interim WBC lightweight title.
Luke had Garcia in trouble early. The Britisher landed a sweeping left hook and floored his American rival in the second round. However, Garcia bounced back and won the fight via TKO in the seventh with a debilitating liver shot.
Post-fight, several fans and pundits wondered why Campbell did not jump on Garcia and try to finish the bout in the second round. Recently, in episode one of Fierce Talk Podcast with Ryan Garcia, Campbell finally revealed why he did not attempt to finish Garcia after the knockdown.
“I can punch, I have power,” Campbell said. “I do believe I’m still one of the biggest punching lightweights out there. So, for you to take a shot clean on the chin — and I was shocked… Well, I thought, ‘Yes, I’ve got him.’ Looked like he was out, sleeping in the air, and then the second [he] hit the floor, he was like a jack-in-the-box, straight up!
“I’ve seen people comment and say, like my fans, ‘Why didn’t you jump on him?’ Jump on him? Because you [were] fully recovered, like within seconds. If I dived in straight away then, you know? You would have countered me, caught [me] with clean shots. You’re a dangerous fighter, so I had to be smart.”
Final CompuBox stats showed that Ryan Garcia was much more effective with his punches than Luke Campbell. Garcia landed 32% of his 293 total strikes, whereas Campbell landed only 22% of his 331 strikes.
Following the fight, Garcia attempted to set up a match with legendary boxer Manny Pacquiao and the WBA (Regular) lightweight champion, Gervonta Davis. Unfortunately, per his promoter, both bouts were nearly impossible to make.
Campbell, on the other hand, has seemingly gained a couple of pounds. In his latest tweet, the 33-year-old boxer called out the super middleweight division.