Luke Campbell would be a 'serious challenge' for Ryan Garcia

Boxing journalist Dan Rafael believes Luke Campbell would pose a serious challenge for Ryan Garcia.

Speaking on DAZN’s "Boxing with Chris Mannix," Rafael said, “I think it’s a serious challenge, no question.

“Luke Campbell may not be a world champion at the moment, but he travelled to give Jorge Linares a very close fight in Boston.

“Even though his next title fight against [Vasily] Lomachenko was with a hometown crowd, he lost again. It was fairly wide on the scorecard so it looks like a blowout, but if you watch each round he provided Lomachenko with some competition. It’s hard to find too many guys who have done that.”

Rafael reported that Golden Boy’s president, Eric Gomez, and Garcia had apparently overcome any difficulties in negotiating a deal for the fight.

“I spoke to Eric Gomez about this and he said, ‘Yes, we made a deal.’ They asked the WBC for a seven-day extension for the purse bid to get the contract signed. Within seven days they should get everything papered.

“They have a deal and are on the same page. If they’re united and you have Eddie Hearn and Luke Campbell, you have a dynamite fight.”

Rafael later tweeted that the deal may not yet be finalised.

He explained why he was so excited for the occasion and for what it might hold in the future, with Devin Haney waiting in the wings for the victor.

“Luke’s a dynamite technician. He was a great amateur.

“The great thing is the winner of the fight sets up a great fight beyond that, and has the interim title. That fighter will become the No. 1 challenger to fight Devin Haney, the WBC champion.

“They’re all associated with DAZN in the U.S., so there shouldn’t be anything holding it back.”

He went on to suggest that amid the coronavirus pandemic, this was a fight that may not ordinarily be made, but is suited to a time when crowds are not permitted.

“It would generate a gate in either country, but it’s not millions of dollars they would have to leave on the table.”

Rafael could see the reasons why the fight would suit the 22-year-old American at this stage of his career, and why holding the event in the United Kingdom would be a perfect foil to his personality.

“Garcia is a young kid who is still starting out and has not really fought the top guys. He needs a belt to validate himself.

“He has the personality and mentality. He enjoys the crowd adulation in Southern California, but he has something in him. He’ll smile and look great, and then stab someone in the back.

“He’d thrive in that hostile environment. He’d be a great heel.”

You can watch the full interview conversation with Mannix and Rafael above, or on DAZN's YouTube channel.

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