Former two division world champion Ricky Hatton was very impressed with Saturday’s performance by Ryan Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs).
The 22-year-old rising lightweight knocked out 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Luke Campbell in seven rounds to capture the WBC’s interim-world title.
Garcia had to overcome adversity, when he was dropped for the first time in his career in the second round after Campbell landed a big counter left hand.
After rocking Campbell in the fifth, Garcia landed a vicious liver shot in the seventh round to send the British fighter to his knees for the full count.
“The shot was beautiful. That is exactly how I tell the lads in my gym to throw that shot. Luke’s reaction was delayed, he got his first breath but it’s the second one that does you. Garcia is capable of beating all of the best guys now,” Hatton told The Sun.
“I know he is a social media star already but he can just wait and build those other fights. He can polish up on some of those errors that he made against Luke.”
Campbell, 33-years-old, will have a big climb to get his career back on track.
He suffered the fourth defeat of his pro career – this time to a rising contender.
Campbell challenged for world titles, twice, and lost hard-fought decisions to Jorge Linares and Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Despite the setbacks, Hatton believes the former Olympian has had a very good career and made the entire UK proud.
“What a career Luke has had… and the Olympic gold was not his only amateur achievement by far. He has done us so proud, he is one of the most decorated English amateurs of all time. He has taken both Vasiliy Lomachenko and Jorge Linares the distance and they are multi-weight world champions,” Hatton said.
“And he has just been in with the latest young whipper-snapper superstar. Only Luke will know how happy he is with what he has achieved in his boxing career. You only retire when you have no more goals to fulfil. It would be lovely to see that world title belt around Luke’s waist.
“But, if he doesn’t do it, then it will only be because of the absolute quality he has been in with. Luke has faced genuine pound-for-pound monsters one fight after the other. I take my hat off to him.”