Lightweight hotshot Ryan ‘Kingry’ Garcia 20-0 (17) looks set to face former two-time world title challenger Luke Campbell 20-3 (16) later this year.
The fight will pit a young lion against an old bull in a compelling crossroads bout.
The 22-year-old from Los Angeles looks like a future star of the sport, knocking out Francisco Fonseca and Romero Duno in a single round in his past two fights and building a huge social media following on the back of his outspoken comments about the sport, most notably his fractured relationship with promoter Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions.
Matchroom Boxing boss Eddie Hearn, who promotes Campbell, thinks Team Garcia are biting off more than they can chew.
“I don’t think he beats Luke Campbell. I think this is a terrible, terrible decision by them,” Hearn said to DAZN.
“But maybe it’s a genius decision. We’ll find out in November. It’s a brilliant fight and I’m excited for it, because I really want Luke to win that fight.”
The 32-year-old British southpaw is coming off a 12-round unanimous decision loss to unified champion and pound-for-pound level fighter Vasiliy Lomachenko 14-1 (10) at the O2 Arena in London in August last year. He became just the second boxer in more than four years and 11 fights to last the distance with the talented Ukrainian.
That loss came two years after Campbell’s split decision loss to WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares 47-5 (29) in Los Angeles in a highly competitive bout.
“It’s a brilliant fight and I am excited for it because I really want Luke to win that fight. He’s probably the lightweight that’s been thrown into the toughest challenges to try and win a world title, this one, of course, for the interim title,” Hearn continued.
“He had to go to Los Angeles and fight Jorge Linares. I felt he could’ve nicked that fight, even with a knockdown. His father passed away, like, two weeks before that fight.
“Then he boxed Vasiliy Lomachenko and now he’s fighting Ryan Garcia in LA. So you have to give Luke Campbell a huge amount of credit and respect.”
Hearn cited the work of trainer Shane McGuigan as one of the key reasons he believes Campbell can do the job.
“I really believe that he’s actually coming into his prime now. He’s starting to believe in himself, [trainer] Shane McGuigan is doing a great job, and I think this is a terrible time for Ryan Garcia,” Hearn added.
“If [Garcia’s] as good as he looks or as good as they say he might be, maybe he beats Luke Campbell. But I don’t believe he does.”
Unsurprisingly, De La Hoya disagrees.
“Mark my words, @KingRyanG will again prove you wrong against @luke11campbell can’t wait for @GoldenBoyBoxing to promote this fight in LA,” De La Hoya posted on social media.
The fight is expected to take place in November or December.
“Just finalized the contract for that. We’re talking about the end of November or December in American. It’s a Golden Boy show,” said Hearn to iFL TV.
“So, we’re waiting for a date from them. It’s a great fight.”