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While Garcia has been making a big name for himself with his impressive highlight reel and fast-growing unbeaten record, he has yet to face anyone of Luke Campbell’s level. Garcia thinks he’s destined to be one of the greatest boxers ever, as any young boxer should, and has been making no secrets of his desires to beat the best in the Lightweight division.
Garcia has openly called for a fight with Devin Haney and has used social media to stoke the fire. He’s already beaten Devin Haney as an amateur but lost to him twice also. So much can change in 5 years though and at just 21 years old, Garcia has already improved a huge amount since he turned pro.
What Garcia can’t know right now though, is how he actually measures up against boxers like Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez, and Gervonta Davis. These men have fought professionals that are levels above the opposition Garcia has been fed so far, they have all had their abilities tested by other top-10 boxers and come out on top. Garcia made it to BoxRec’s #9 spot without fighting anyone from the top 20. Garcia’s first real test, his first gatekeeper, will be the much more experienced Luke Campbell.
Campbell’s level of experience alone will be a big barrier for Garcia to overcome. He won’t be easy to feint, he’s felt speed and power like Garcia’s, he’s fought in hundreds of rounds. Garcia hasn’t faced anyone like Campbell and Campbell knows it. He won’t be fazed by any of Garcia’s bravado or insults, he isn’t bothered by the social media jibes or the training videos.
Campbell told Sky Sports, “It’s hard to see what they are about until they have been in the ring with someone of quality who has a good CV. By the amount of fights they [Garcia and Haney] have had, I had already beaten two former world champions. Neither of them have fought a former world champion yet. Time will tell.” This what Garcia has perhaps failed to notice and it is glaringly apparent to Campbell.
For one, just the fact that Campbell has shared a ring Lomachenko and gone the distance, speaks to his quality and level as a boxer. Lomachenko is widely considered as one of the best pound-for-pound and Campbell managed to take the fight to the judges. Despite a wide unanimous-decision win, Lomachenko wasn’t able to relax against Campbell at all. Campbell put up a competitive fight and it was only in the later rounds that Loma was able to pull away after figuring him out.
The winner of his WBC mandated fight with Campbell will face Devin Haney next. Ironically, the fight that leads to Haney might well be a tougher one than Haney himself. Garcia and Haney both represent the same type of fighter, they are young and talented rising stars. Garcia and Haney have the same youthful confidence and energy, but they also lack things that only come with age and experience. Luke Campbell might be getting overlooked by Garcia, but he’s going to be the biggest hurdle of his career to date. The biggest by far.