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“The Machine” Matthysse rolls over Peterson in three

(Photo © Tom Casino / SHOWTIME)
(Photo © Tom Casino / SHOWTIME)

By Gabriel Montoya


Saturday night at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, Argentina’s Lucas “The Machine” Matthysse, (34-2, 32 KOs), closed the distance versus Washington, D.C.’s Lamont Peterson, (31-2-1, 16 KOs), and then closed the show in a display of raw and very real power. The fight, televised by Showtime, was a match-up of elite junior welterweight fighters fought at a catch weight of 141 pounds. While it was a non-title affair, (Matthysse and Peterson each hold title belts of sorts at 140) it had future fight implications what with Floyd Mayweather, Jr, and fellow 140 lb. titleholder Danny Garcia needing opponents.

 

Coming in, the fight featured two men very comfortable fighting on the inside. Each man possesses a no-quarter style in terms of relentless pressure and a commitment to body punching. While Matthysse had the power edge, Peterson brought experience and versatility to the table.

 

Peterson entered round one on his toes, boxing from the outside. Matthysse reached and moved closer but found no violent purchase with either hand.

 

It was just three years November ago that Matthysse suffered his first loss, a controversial split decision loss to Zab Judah and two years since a similar loss to Devon Alexander. Knowing that, Matthysse left nothing to chance despite being unable to corral Peterson through most of the first round. At the bell’s end, Matthysse landed a one-two that shook Peterson.


The paths were clear: Matthysse was going to have to make this the fight everyone expected. Peterson was going to abandon the aggressive approach he had taken in recent fights box off his ties for as long as they would hold out.

 

In the second, Matthysse crowded in on Peterson and began to let his hands go. He had the measure of his man. There would be no scorecard issues tonight. Peterson paused too long on the ropes and Matthysse crashed into Peterson with hard shots to the ribs. Matthysse pitched a right at Peterson’s head which made the D.C. native attempt an escape to his left. As he did, Matthysse landed a glancing left hook to the top of his head. Peterson paused a moment before his legs gave out and he crashed to the canvas. He rose within the ten-count but you could see in his stance, he was not all there. Luckily for him, the bell was near and Peterson survived the second stanza.

 

In the third, Matthysse went for the finish. He let his hands break down either side of Peterson’s ribs and as he did in the second, finished with the left uppercut up the middle. Peterson would later admit that with the heat coming at him, he abandoned his game plan, closed the distance and went to war. This was a bad idea.

 

Matthysse found a home for his left hook on Peterson’s jaw and down again he went. He rose shakily and referee Steve Smoger allowed it to go on, as expected. But moments later, Matthysse close the gap and landed another left hook that put Peterson on his back for the final time. Though he gamely rose again, Smoger had seen enough. The time was 2:14 of the third.

 

With the win, Matthysse said he expects the fight he was told would happen: a showdown with Danny Garcia, who holds the same brand belt as Matthysse. Golden Boy Promotions’ Richard Schaefer said after that he intends to put the fight on September 7 in Washington, D.C.

 

In the co-feature, St. Louis native Devon Alexander improved to 25-1, 14 KOs with a seventh round TKO over Lee Purdy, who drops to 20-4-1, 13 KOs. Alexander hurt his left hand in the first round causing the southpaw to rely heavily on his right hook and uppercut throughout. The fight was a non-title affair because Purdy failed to make weight the day before by one pound. It was an absolutely one-sided fight. Purdy landed a good right hand in the first but beyond that he was a sitting duck target for Alexander, who worked him like a very slow-moving heavy bag.



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