Ryan Garcia ‘honoured’ by surprise Mike Tyson praise, explains why he chose ‘first real test’ against Luke Campbell on January 2

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Ryan Garcia is not unaccustomed to checking his phone and finding a sizeable number of social media notifications waiting for him.

The undefeated lightweight contender has built a gigantic social media following including 7.7million on Instagram alone.

Garcia is 20-0 (17 KOs)

Tom Hogan – Hogan Photos/Golden Boy

Garcia is 20-0 (17 KOs)

However, as he woke up on September 5, his devices will have undoubtedly been lighting up even more so than usual.

While appearing on the Joe Rogan podcast the night before, heavyweight icon Mike Tyson was asked to name his favourite boxers of the current era.

He declared: “Vasyl Lomachenko is nice to watch. Devin Haney’s good, Shakur Stevenson’s good, the other little guy from Baltimore [Gervonta Davis] is good. Errol Spence is really good, Terence Crawford. There’s a bunch of good fighters out there.”

‘Iron Mike’ then concluded: “That little guy Ryan Garcia, he’s hot s***!”

Tyson is a fan of Garcia

Joe Scarnici/Triller

Tyson is a fan of Garcia

Garcia instantly reacted to the praise on social media and expressed his delight at being mentioned in a positive light by an idol.

The reaction was exactly what you would expect from a youngster who has only just turned 22 years of age.

In reflection, Garcia told talkSPORT.com “That was an honour, to see Mike Tyson speak that about you.

“I was like, ‘Man, I wouldn’t have even cared if he talked s*** about me.’

“It’s the fact that it was Mike Tyson that really knows my name. I was like, ‘Okay, anything anybody said don’t matter no more, Mike Tyson called me hot s***.’

“I couldn’t believe it, Mike Tyson really talked about me, that was amazing.”

Campbell is set to take on Garcia on January 2

getty

Campbell is set to take on Garcia on January 2

Garcia’s next opportunity to impress ‘Iron Mike’ will come on January 2, live on DAZN, when he takes on Luke Campbell.

Prior to the bout, the youngster was presented with two options – a WBC final eliminator against Campbell or a WBO final eliminator against the lesser-known Emmanuel Tagoe.

While Tagoe is unbeaten and well regarded within boxing circles, there was very little doubt that the Brit would be a tougher assignment for Garcia.

When it was revealed that he was running towards the tougher challenge, many were surprised, but Garcia explained: “I just know that this is the perfect opportunity to showcase my talents.

Garcia is chasing world titles

Tom Hogan – Hogan Photos/Golden Boy

Garcia is chasing world titles

“I think that even if I did beat Emmanuel – – I forgot his last name already.

“I knew Luke Campbell was the better fight, I knew Luke Campbell was obviously the tougher fight and I just know that I’m ready for this match-up.

“I know I’m ready for these type of fights and this is my first real test, like everybody’s been saying.

“I just knew that it was the fight I’d always wanted. I’d always wanted Luke Campbell and I’m so happy to have it…

“This is a perfect moment for myself and I know that I’m going to do something special on January 2.”

DAZN’s going global – including finally launching in the UK. For British boxing fans, the DAZN app will be £1.99 a month to start and that one price will get them the big fights on any device, including Jan 2 Garcia vs Campbell.





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