By: Sean Crose
One thing Luke Campbell has to be given credit for over the past week is the fact he’s gracious in defeat. Ever since losing to Ryan Garcia via body shot last weekend, the British fighter has given Garcia credit for a fine performance and has made no excuses for coming up short against a hard hitting rising star. This is refreshing to see in the contemporary boxing scene, for top fighters such as Deontay Wilder and Vasyl Lomachenko have recently expressed resentment and even disbelief at seemingly clear losses. Campbell simply does not fall into their camp.
Everyone knew walking in that Garcia-Campbell was going to be an interesting and close match. Still, many were thoroughly surprised when Campbell sent the undefeated and powerful Garcia to the mat in the second round. The fact that Garcia rose to his feet and managed to fight his way to a stoppage win impressed many, including Campbell himself. “A week ago today,” Campbell tweeted above a picture of last week’s action, “still gutted but what a battle this was! The win is so important but entertaining the fans is what matters most. No padded records, this sport needs the best fighting the best. Hopefully we’ve set the tone for 2021 @KingRyanG.”
Garcia, in truth, has likewise been gracious in victory – something that’s not always the case in boxing. “Nothing but respect to @luke11campbell,” Garcia tweeted the day after their battle. “True warrior for life.” Campbell himself has attested to the respectful relationship the men have post-fight. “After the dust had settled on our fight,” Campbell tweeted earlier this week, “I got to spend some time with just Ryan and his family. No talking trash, no egos…just genuinely classy, down to earth, lovely people. As classy outside the ring as he is inside it. You will always have my respect champ @KingRyanG.” The post was accompanied by pictures of the two men getting along well.
It’s hard to tell where former gold medalist Campbell will go from here. He’s lost his last two fights, to Garcia and Lomachenko respectively, and has also been bested by Jorge Linares. Although he’s beaten his share of good fighters, he has so far come up short when battling the sport’s bigger names. Still, boxing is literally and figuratively the home of Rocky stories, and if the tale of Luke Campbell becomes one, it will have happened to a legit sportsman indeed.