Ryan Garcia's return to action comes on Jan. 2 when he takes on 2012 Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell for the vacant WBC lightweight title, live on DAZN.
Garcia, 22, has not been able to compete since February with a devastating first-round knockout over Francisco Fonseca. Like many boxers, he and Campbell were left out in the cold for several months by the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, as fights began to return to action behind closed doors, the duo agreed to do battle on Dec. 5, only for the Brit to contract the virus and force a brief postponement.
The explosive California native was still just 21 years old when he racked up his 20th win out of 20 professional outings, and 17 out of those 20 wins saw Garcia finish off his foe inside the scheduled distance. Many of those wins were swift, emphatic, and spectacular.
Here, we have compiled the five fastest checkouts "The Flash" has pulled off to date. Get your stopwatches ready.
5. 94 seconds vs. Edgar Meza — June 9, 2016
A teenage Garcia's pro debut was an eye-catching performance to flatten Meza. "King Ry" would go 6-0 within three months before being picked up by Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions.
4. 80 seconds vs. Francisco Fonseca — Feb. 14, 2020
His most recent outing was his fourth-fastest win to date. Garcia landed a total of seven punches before his eighth — a lethal left hook — finished off the Costa Rican for a resounding first defence of the WBC Silver lightweight title.
3. 74 seconds vs. Mario Macias — July 15, 2017
Garcia capped an impressive rookie year in the pro ranks with his 10th win in his home state of California, on the undercard of WBC super featherweight champion Miguel “El Alacran” Berchelt's unanimous decision title defence against Takashi Miura.
2. 72 seconds vs. Hector Garcia — June 24, 2016
Garcia's second professional fight was more devastating than his first, requiring 22 less seconds to get Garcia out of the Tijuana ring than he did earlier that month vs. Meza.
1. 30 seconds vs. Miguel Carrizoza — Sep. 15, 2017; MGM Grand Marquee Ballroom, Las Vegas
And in his fastest showing so far, Garcia dropped Carrizoza with a right just 20 seconds into their bout for the vacant WBC-NABF Junior super featherweight title before putting the Mexican straight back down with a left when he answered the count to force an abrupt end to proceedings.
Ryan Garcia: The brutal stats
In addition to his 17 knockouts, Garcia's won a staggering eight of them before the corner stools could be brought out for the end of Round 1.
Can Campbell go the distance?
Hull-born Campbell has never been halted since turning professional a year after his Olympic bantamweight glory in 2012. All three of his professional defeats — to elite fighters Vasiliy Lomachenko and Jorge Linares plus his very first "L" against France's Yvan Mendy, which he later avenged — came via the judge's scorecards.
Campbell is also quite proficient at stopping opponents. Sixteen of his 20 wins came inside the distance. However he hasn't managed to check out an adversary in the first round since wiping out Neil Hepper in his second bout in October 2013.
Garcia will nonetheless fancy his chances of becoming the first to knock Campbell out. "Cool Hand Luke" is now 33, and his in-ring absence stretches back to August 2019 when Lomachenko beat him. Campbell is a southpaw, but Garcia did defeat some lefties as an amateur.