Not even a pandemic can keep Ryan Garcia’s fans at bay.
A sold-out crowd is in store for this weekend’s show at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, where Garcia headlines in a 12-round interim lightweight title fight versus England’s Luke Campbell. The venue was opened up to the maximum allowed capacity in accordance with social distancing and health guidelines, with the last of the available inventory sold midway through fight week ahead of the Jan. 2 bill which airs live on DAZN.
“It’s a great honor to provide some entertainment and distraction to a live audience in Dallas, Texas,” Oscar De La Hoya, García’s promoter and CEO/Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions (GBP) told BoxingScene.com. “These are tough times, so any bit of excitement we can provide will mean a lot to our fans.”
Golden Boy made a point to have the event available to the public, flirting with the idea of staging the show in Mexico before settling on Dallas. It will mark the first out-of-state headliner for García (20-0, 17KOs), the fast-rising contender from Victorville, California whom has emerged as a huge regional draw. His last fight—a 1st round knockout of Francisco Fonseca on Valentine’s Day—took place in front of a sold-out crowd at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
All eyes are on the 22-year old lightweight this weekend, as he is poised to become the next leading superstar out of the GBP stable. A key step will come on Saturday, as he faces his toughest test to date in Campbell (20-3, 16KOs)—a 2012 Olympic Gold medalist and veteran southpaw contender who has twice challenged for the lightweight crown.
Saturday will mark the company’s first post-pandemic show with fans in attendance, having previously run two cards from behind closed doors at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California since returning to action this past July.
Running with García at a location far beyond his local following was a calculated risk, though one which provided a foundation on which to further establish the boxer’s brand which already boasts a massive social media presence.
“We’re not surprised that tickets have sold out,” notes de la Hoya. “This is just a small preview of Golden Boy’s future when the world returns to normalcy.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox