This was the moment WBC interim light welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse had been fighting for with unwavering determination over the past two-and-a-half years following two hotly disputed split decision losses to Zab Judah and Devon Alexander. His six consecutive stoppage victory streak came to a screeching halt last night, losing a unanimous decision to WBA/WBC light welterweight champion Danny Garcia on the Showtime® pay-per-view event at the MGM Grand.
Typically a slow starter, Matthysse set the tempo early and appeared to be the more relaxed fighter as he came ever so close to landing his big right hand on a number of occasions in the first three rounds. However, he did not sustain the aggressiveness and failed to jab his way inside to set up his dangerous power shots.
Meanwhile, Garcia was letting his hands go and controlled the majority of the fight with very accurate combination punching. One such punch caused Matthysse's right eye to badly swell in Round 7.
It was from this point that Matthysse had to dig deep, make an adjustment and find a way to rise above the adversity. That did not happen. Instead, Garcia showed what champions are made of by remaining poised and patient while greeting Matthysse with left hooks that the semi-blinded challenger never saw coming. Matthysse’s slow, wide punches, no matter how powerful, never got Garcia off his game.
Even a clean right hand by Matthysse that knocked out Garcia's mouthpiece at the start of Round 11 did not rattle the 25-year old champion. Garcia landed a three punch combination later in the round from which Matthysse pitched forward, going down for the first time in his career from a barrage of subsequent glancing blows.
The only blemish on Garcia's performance was a point deduction in Round 12 for a low blow. It did spark the best action of the fight, however, as both men went toe-to-toe as the fight drew to a close.
Garcia retained his title with a unanimous decision of 115-111, 114-112 and 114-112, improving to 27-0, 16 KO's. Matthysse falls to 34-3, 32 KO's.
Overall, the fight lacked the firepower many expected heading into the contest. Matthysse shot blanks for the most part, with Garcia operating on all cylinders as the kingpin of the light welterweight division.
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