Luke Campbell vows to 'hurt and stop' rising star Ryan Garcia

Luke Campbell vows to ‘hurt and stop’ the ‘world class’ rising star Ryan Garcia for double dose of festive celebrations, putting himself in pole position for third world title shot

  • Luke Campbell is preparing to face Ryan Garcia with his tight-knit team in Texas 
  • Garcia, 22, is brash and tipped by many to be a future star for the future  
  • Campbell has left talking to flashy American and is comfortable in his own skin 
  • British star predicts: ‘I think I’ll break him down, hurt him and stop him late’

Luke Campbell hopes to make up for missing Christmas by beating Ryan Garcia and enjoying a double dose of festive celebrations.

The Olympic gold medallist is in Dallas to face American prospect Garcia on Saturday night, knowing victory would put him back in pole position for a third shot at the world lightweight title.

The 33-year-old flew out to Texas in Christmas week with trainer Shane McGuigan and a tight-knit team. They had no plans to rustle up a makeshift meal so close to the fight. ‘What’s Christmas if you’re not with your family?’ Campbell says.

Luke Campbell is betting underdog but thinks he’ll hurt and stop Ryan Garcia on Saturday

Garcia (left) boasts knockout power and lightning speed and is the favourite with bookies

Instead, the Hull fighter sat down for dinner and presents at home in early December and once he returns from Dallas in the New Year, he is planning more festivities: ‘We’ll do all the celebrating when I get back,’ he adds.

Campbell is the betting underdog against the loud-mouth Garcia, who at 22 is unbeaten and tipped to be a potential star for the future.

The Briton boasts more experience and pedigree but his preparations for this fight – shown live on DAZN – were disrupted when he caught coronavirus in November, causing a month-long delay.

‘I’d had a fantastic week in the gym and at the end of it I just started feeling not myself,’ Campbell explains. ‘I just felt a little weak. So I went and got a test, came back positive. So I had to isolate.’

Campbell caught coronavirus but did not suffer too much with the symptoms 

Campbell fell short against Vasily Lomachenko (right) but wants a third title shot 

Campbell was away from his family, training down in Kent with McGuigan; he assumes he picked it up from a sparring partner brought into camp.

‘I was fairly lucky with what symptoms I got. I had a minor cold, really – I didn’t have no cough, no headache, or anything like that. I was just a little bit out of sorts,’ he says.

‘After a few days of isolating, I was back to myself, I was fine. Then the frustrating bit was obviously having to isolate and stay in – not being able to go out… I just did a bit of training myself – a run, or a circuit.’

Throughout the build-up, Campbell has left much of the talking to Garcia, a social media sensation who boasts ferocious power and lightning speed.

Ryan Garcia (right) is popular on social media and has both power and speed 

As for his banter? The 22-year-old has warned his opponent he will ‘turn to Campbell Soup’.

‘He really does have bad jokes,’ Campbell laughs. ‘He’s building the fight well, but that kind of stuff doesn’t bother me. I just hope that Campbell Soup have paid him for doing all their advertising for them.’

In recent years, the Briton has fallen short in his two world title challenges – against Jorge Linares and Vasiliy Lomachenko. Victory over Garcia would make him mandatory challenger for the WBC belt.

‘I’ve said from the start that I expect to be in there with a world class opponent and I expect to see the best Ryan Garcia. I expect to see the best of me,’ Campbell says. ‘I think I’ll break him down, hurt him and stop him late.’

Watch Garcia vs Campbell HERE exclusively live on DAZN for just £1.99

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