Rising lightweight star Ryan Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) made a big statement at 135-pounds on Saturday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Garcia got off the floor to score a knockout of 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Luke Campbell to capture the interim-WBC lightweight championship with a seventh round body shot.
Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs) of Yorkshire, United Kingdom stunned the 6,000 fans in attendance when he dropped Garcia hard with a counter left in the second round.
Garcia showed the will of a fighter by getting off the floor and rallying in the following round of the fight.
By the fifth, he had Campbell in serious trouble when he cracked him right on the temple a moment before the bell rang.
And then after Campbell was attempting to get himself back in the fight, Garcia connected with a liver shot to close the show – as Campbell went down on both knees for the full count.
Garcia admits that he made a big mistake in the second, by not showing Campbell enough respect, which led to the knockdown.
“I got too excited in the moment,” Garcia said of being knocked down for the first time.
“I felt I could just walk him down, but he ended up cracking me. So, I had to adjust and calm down. I was a little dizzy with the knockdown, but I wasn’t worried. He’s not used to going forward, so I just knew I had to cover up. He never fights coming forward, so I knew he would back up throughout the fight. I’m naturally a counterpuncher. But today I showed I can take it to somebody and knock them out. God told me that it would end with a body shot, and that’s what happened.”