Ryan Garcia was hoping for a genuine test when he squared off with experienced lightweight, decorated amateur and multi-time world title challenger Luke Campbell this past Saturday — and he received exactly that.
Garcia had to pick himself up off the canvas in the second round and bounce back to become the first man to finish "Cool Hand Luke" inside the scheduled distance with a superb pinpoint body shot, one which Campbell later described as the hardest he'd ever received.
DAZN's Chris Mannix and Sergio Mora were ringside in Dallas, Texas to watch it all go down, and later discussed the thrilling main event from up in the broadcast area for a very special on-location edition of "Jabs", now available to view on DAZN.
Former world champion Mora said: "We knew this kid was a star and a future champion, but he showed character, resilience, heart and that killer instinct you need. That kid passed the test with flying colours, and with charisma. Wow."
Mannix added: "This was everything you could have asked for in Garcia’s defining fight. He conquered adversity, he finished it in the later rounds. And there was technique to it, too. He went to the head first, and then went to the body and found that knockout punch."
So, where does "King Ry" now figure in what is an extremely loaded lightweight division?
"The top of that list is Teofimo Lopez Jr., hands down," said Mora. "Then it's Gervonta "Tank" Davis and to be honest it’s out of Devin Haney and Garcia for that third spot."
Mannix then echoed the thoughts of every boxing fan across the globe: we want to see those four fight each other before 2021 is through.
"I don’t know if Tank and Floyd Mayweather want that fight next," noted Mannix. "That remains to be seen. But what I’d like to see is Ryan Garcia against Tank, which would be an enormously popular fight, then Haney vs Teofimo for the undisputed 135 lb championship.
"And then, the winners collide later in the year. Boxing doesn’t often give us what we want, but man I want that."
Mora concurred, adding: "They’re makeable fights between four young lightweights who knock people out like they’re heavyweights. That’s what boxing needs in 2021"
You can rewatch Garcia vs. Campbell and enjoy "Jabs" plus even more fight fallout with a DAZN subscription.