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The Machine’s Most Important Fight

(Lucas Matthysse)
(Lucas Matthysse)

As you probably know, there’s this little fight taking place on Saturday night at the MGM Grand between Floyd Mayweather and Saul Alvarez. It’s the year’s biggest event in the sport of boxing and it’s the type of fight that will draw the coveted “casual boxing fan” (code for “person who watches the sport about three times a year at the most”). But you could make an argument that it’s the semi-main event between Lucas Matthysse and unified junior welterweight beltholder Danny Garcia that the hardcore followers of boxing (the kind that watches cards on ESPN2 and UniMas) are most looking forward to.
In an era when you have been force-fed the likes of Butterbean, Mia St. John and a cavalcade of assorted mismatches often fought in front of a swath of empty seats in casino venues and usually ignored by the pay-per-view audience, Garcia-Matthysse is the rarest specimen in boxing the undercard bout everyone actually cares about.
And for Matthysse, it’s the most important fight he will have ever fought up this point.

Yeah, this fight could have easily headlined on a premium cable network and been greatly anticipated but the reality is that on that particular platform, it would have been just the type of bout that only the diehard fans of the sport would’ve have tuned into. Being part of “The One” (as they have dubbed this pay-per-view extravaganza) puts him on a true international stage.
Being on Showtime means you fight in front of hundreds of thousands of people. Fighting on this show means Matthysse (who has built up a cult following) will be performing in front of millions.
And with a win versus Garcia?
Well, he knows what could be at stake.
“I know that winning is going to open [a lot of] doors, so I am taking this fight seriously. Hopefully, [a victory] means a future fight with Floyd Mayweather. Of course I want to fight Floyd,” said Matthysse a few weeks back in front of a cadre of reporters at the StubHub Center in Carson, where he met with the media before Showtime’s August 24th broadcast.
Yes, while Garcia’s WBA and WBC titles are as stake, this is really a de facto elimination bout to see who puts himself at the front of the line to get some “Money” in 2014. Perhaps if “Canelo” pulls the upset on Saturday night, we’ll see an immediate rematch but short of that, Showtime’s much ballyhooed six-fight deal with Mayweather means that suitable opposition is needed. And as the tepid results of Mayweather-Robert Guerrero showed, the B-side is important in this equation.
And what bigger stage than this card for Matthysse (or Garcia, for that matter) to be exposed to the masses?
Matthysse, coming off a three-round destruction of the usually sturdy Lamont Peterson, now faces an undefeated foe in Garcia. He said of his opponent, “I feel his style suits me. He’s not a very good boxer. He’s a fighter that’s aggressive and comes forward just like I do. I like that.”
Asked if he could withstand Garcia’s left hook, Matthysse responded. “Yes, I think I can take it. I’ve been hit before and been able to withstand it. But if Danny drops me, I’m going to get up.” He is hoping Garcia is willing to mix it up with him. “Hopefully he comes towards me but it doesn’t really matter. I have a feeling that we’re both going to be very aggressive and like I said, we’re going to beat each other up. It will be a great fight.”
Matthysse doesn’t say all that much. He’s as reserved and quiet outside the ring as he is powerful and strong inside it. In an age of swagger and false bravado, he is the strong, silent type.
Right now, he’s still the kind of a guy who isn’t known to the general public. But that could change on Saturday night.
“It’s the fight of my life…and I’m going to take advantage of it.”
Regardless of the result of Garcia-Matthysse or whatever reason this fight was placed on this undercard (or that as a Showtime subscriber, you might be upset that you now have to buy the pay-per-view to see this fight), isn’t it refreshing to have something on the undercard worth giving a damn about?
Let’s be honest; an overwhelming majority of these bouts are what I call “Bathroom/Beer Line/Media Buffet Fights” because during these contests, you either go to the bathroom, buy a beer or eat at the media center because, quite frankly, you aren’t missing much.
Trust me; I’ve done all of those things during more than one really bad pay-per-view undercard bout.
Here’s my latest contribution to, Shane Mosley’s unique perspective of Alvarez-Mayweather (having faced both):
Here’s the latest installment of “The Next Round” (a 90-minute edition) with Gabe Montoya and Yours Truly:
While the game between ‘Bama and Johnny Football is the biggest sporting event this weekend in the States, you could make an argument that “Canelo”-Mayweather is right behind it but with much more international interest attached to it...Angel Garcia gonna Angel Garcia: De la Hoya made an announcement on Monday afternoon that he has checked himself into rehab and will miss this weekend’s festivities…Speaking of Johnny Football, Johnny Manziel made the cover of Time magazine. Wonder how much he’d charge to sign it?...Is that Eagles offense run by Chip Kelly fun to watch or what?...I can be reached at and I tweet at We also have a Facebook fan page at, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.

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