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Garcia vs. Matthysse Looks to Steal the Show

(Lucas Matthysse)
(Lucas Matthysse)

By Bill Tibbs


Fight fans are optimistic that the Saul Alvarez vs. Floyd Mayweather bout (September 14th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Showtime Pay-Per-View) does have potential for some real fireworks. However, these same fans were really excited at the undercard shootout announced shortly thereafter.
 
Philadelphia’s Danny “Swift” Garcia will defend his World Boxing Council (WBC) super lightweight title and his World Boxing Association (WBA) super lightweight title against power-punching Argentinean Lucas Matthysse. Garcia, who has quietly gone about beating every fighter put in front of him, will certainly get tested by Matthysse. Credit to Team Garcia for taking this bout as Matthysse’s recent ring work might cause some to take the “avoid at all costs” approach to the Trelew, Chubut-born “Machine.”
 
But that is not the Garcia way.

Both champion Danny and his trainer/father, Angel, have always said they want to face the best competition available. Matthysse is red-hot right now and Garcia has yet to cool off in his undefeated career since first winning the vacant WBC light welterweight title when he decisioned Mexican legend Erik Morales in Houston, Texas in March of 2012. It’s safe to say we have the ingredients for a great one here.
 
Danny Garcia turned pro in November of 2007 and by the summer of 2010, had run up his record to 18-0 (12). He first caught the eye of the boxing world when he beat tough Mike Arnaoutis in October of 2010, stopping him in four rounds. Then, just two fights later, Garcia decisioned former world champion Nate Campbell over 10 rounds in April of 2011 in Las Vegas. He then followed that up with a 12-round decision over Kendall Holt in the fall.
 
In his next fight in March of 2012, he beat Morales over 12 rounds to capture his first major belt, the WBC 140-pound laurels. In his next fight, in July of 2012, “Swift” would add the WBA “super” world light welterweight title to his trophy case by knocking out heavily favored, British star Amir Khan. In a back-and-forth war, Garcia would drop and stop Khan (who had travelled across the pond to Las Vegas to challenge Garcia) in four rounds.
 
Just 3 months later, he stamped a Morales duology with an exclamation point, stopping “El Terrible” in four rounds, further validating his first Morales victory. In his first fight of 2013, Garcia would ignite the crowd that filled the brand-new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York by beating hometown boy and former world champion Zab Judah over 12 rounds in April. And now as Garcia looks at his fourth title defense against Matthysse, many are saying he is taking on the toughest test of his career.
 
Lucas Matthysse turned pro in June of 2004 and remained unbeaten in his first 27 bouts, taking him to the summer of 2010. Fighting predominantly in Argentina, the only notable name on his résumé to North American fight fans would be former world champion Vivian Harris, victim of a fourth round stoppage. In November of 2011, Matthysse fought Zab Judah and despite dropping the former champion in the 10th round, he lost a split decision in a 140-pound title eliminator. He followed that up two months later by beating former world champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, stopping him in eight rounds in Las Vegas. Five months later, in the summer of 2011, Matthysse lost a close, split decision to former world titleholder Devon Alexander over 10 rounds.
 
From December of 2011 to the spring of 2013, Lucas would string together six straight wins. Included in this impressive run were victories over Ajose Olusegun, (in which Matthysse picked up the vacant WBC interim light welterweight title), a victory over former world champion Humberto Soto, a one-round destruction, title defence of hot prospect Mike Dallas Jr. and a third round demolition of former world champion Lamont Peterson.
 
Heading into the September 14th bout, both fighters expressed confidence in recent interviews. Challenger Matthysse said, “I have seen [Garcia]’s slow movement and how he throws his punches. I think I have an advantage.” An always polite and quietly confident Garcia stated, “I know the outcome. I’m gonna win.” As the old adage goes, styles make fights and here we have two guys with styles that could (and should) make this main event-level undercard bout a war – and a show-stealing instant classic.
 
Questions and comments can be sent to Bill Tibbs at hwtibbs@shaw.ca.
 
 

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