In yet another confusing addition to the WBC picture at Lightweight, the Interim belt is at stake in a quality looking matchup at the American Airlines Centre in Dallas, Texas.
22-year-old hot prospect Ryan Garcia (20-0, KO17) takes a step up in class as he takes on former two-time world title challenger, Luke Campbell (20-3, KO16) in the bill topper.
California-based Garcia has been taking some impressive scalps in his short career that began in June 2016, including several early knockout wins in his early wins.
His only real blemish was a majority decision win against Carlos Morales in September 2018, but two other judges had him a 98-92 winner, so the drawn scorecard looked more like an error of judgement.
Since then, ‘King Ry’ hasn’t left fights in the hands of officials. He has had four straight early wins, picking up the WBC Silver belt along the way, and his last outing was an eye catching first round knockout of Francisco Fonseca in February this year.
Luke Campbell has yet to turn his stellar amateur career in to world titles, and at 33, this could well be one of his final rolls of the dice.
The 2012 Olympic Gold medallist made serene enough progress moving to 12-0, but he was stunned by Yvan Mendy in December 2015, with the Frenchman taking a deserved split decision win.
The Hull man rebuilt with five straight wins, including against the likes of Jairo Lopez (TKO2) and Darleys Perez (TKO9) which set up a shot at the world title, where he was dropped early against Jorge Linares, before giving the Venezuelan al he could handle before slipping to a split decision loss.
Again, ‘Cool Hand’ rebounded, with three wins, including a revenge points win over Yvan Mendy at Wembley Stadium, and he found himself in another world title match, this time in with the superlative Vasyl Lomachenko in August 2019.
The Ukrainian was just too good for Luke, flooring Campbell in round eleven on the way to a wide points win.
Prediction: This is an intriguing clash, with Garcia cutting a swathe through the division. Campbell though, is no mug, and his boxing skills have been more than useful, especially in a fantastic effort against Jorge Linares.
If Campbell can stick to his boxing, and move at regular intervals to stay out of range, I really give him a chance here, even though he is a firm underdog with the bookmakers.
I will tentatively pick an upset Campbell win on the scorecards as long as he can stay out of trouble.
At Super Featherweight, Nicaragua’s Rene Alvarado (32-8, KO21) defends his WBA title against Roger Gutierrez (24-3-1, KO20).
Alvarado won the belt in his last contest against Andrew Cancio, forcing a corner retirement after seven rounds in November 2019.
The pair have met before, in July 2017, where Alvarado scored a seventh round knockout.
Although the Venezuelan has improved since then, Alvarado should be able to repeat the trick, and score a stoppage win after the halfway mark.
Rene’s brother, Felix Alvarado (35-2, KO30) defends his IBF Light Flyweight crown for the second time as he meets South African, DeeJay Kriel (16-1-1, KO8).
Felix won the belt in the Phillipines in October 2018, and defended in May last year with a points win over Reiya Konashi in Japan.
Kriel is a former IBF champion at Minimumweight, and his only loss came on debut, that he avenged immediately. I feel Felix can retain on the scorecards in what could be a fun fight.
In another family affair, Ryan Garcia’s brother Sean Garcia (5-0, KO2) has a four rounder at Lightweight, and he faces Rene Marquez (5-5, KO2). Marquez has been stopped twice in five losses, and Garcia can add to this list.
The female fight on the card comes at Super Middleweight, as Franchon Crews Dezurn (6-1, KO2) has an eight round assignment against Ashleigh Curry (8-13-4, KO1).
Dezurn is the current WBC and WBO world champion, and should have too much for Curry, in what should be a wide points win.