Saturday, 14 September 2013

Danny Garcia v Lucas Martin Matthysse

In a bout seen as the most "explosive" encounter on "The One" card Danny Garcia (17-0, 16) defeated Lucas Matthysse (34-3, 32) by a decision to successfully retain the combined WBC and WBA Light Welterweight titles.

Prior to the fight their was a clear "Buzz" from the crowd, a shock considering the fact they had all fallen to sleep during the previous bout, a sleep inducing contest between Ishe Smith and Carlos Molina.

The opening round was a careful and slow one with Garcia boxing well with his movement and jab. It wasn't what we expected and wasn't a shoot out but it was a very intelligent round from Garcia. Despite the unexpected start things did heat up in the second round as Matthysse fought back and tagged Garcia several times. Unfortunately the round saw the first, of many, low blows by Garcia in what become a bit of a sub story to the fight.

Round 3 was another where Garcia's boxing made Matthysse look slow and clumsy though again Garcia seemed to get away with shots south of the border. Although Matthysse didn't seem to make much of a fuss they were becoming a common place in the arsenal of Garcia and, at least for me, they were beginning to leave questions as to what he was going to be able to get away with from Tony Weeks.

The "borderline" shots were continuing through round 4 as Garcia, who was genuinely boxing well and moving excellently seemed to have found a nice way to slow down Matthysse's assaults. It wasn't until round 5 that Tony Weeks actually told Garcia to keep them up, and that was after the second or third one in that round alone. It had by now become obvious that Matthysse's balls had become a "legal" area. Despite the low blows Matthysse seemed to take rounds 5 and 6 as he went up a gear and by the mid way point it could well have been scored even.

Despite two good rounds for Matthysse he had a nightmare round 7 in which his right eye was almost swollen shut. This nasty injury seemed to immediately effect the Argentinian who struggled through the following 2 rounds with the doctor taking a serious look at it in between rounds 8 and 9. Those rounds were all Garcia with Matthysse trying to protect the eye rather than really fight back, this saw Garcia landing his much vaunted left hook several times.

With Matthysse now looking like a man who was on the verge of being stopped he some how put on an amazing effort in round 10 as he showed their was still plenty left in "The Machine". The big effort of Matthysse in round 10 gave him his best round since the 6th and was a round he clearly won as Garcia appeared to suddenly tire.

The controversy of the low blows wasn't the only mark on the fight with a huge blown call by the referee in round 11. Matthysse started the round fast again, as he had in the previous round and actually punched Garcia's gum shield out of his mouth at the start of it. Unfortunately Matthysse's good work was undone with a knockdown call against him which appeared to come not only following a punch to the back of the head but whilst Matthysse was stuck between the ropes. The referee, who had in all honesty allowed Garcia away with ball bashing blew the call here and probably swung the round from a 10-9 Matthysse round to a 10-8 Garcia round. Those 3 points would prove to be a major issue just a few minutes later.

Going into the final round it seemed almost certain Matthysse needed a stoppage to win, and he went for it. Unfortunately low blows again came to the fray, though this time Matthysse was dropped by one and the referee, finally, deducted a point from Garcia, something he could have done 3 or 4 rounds earlier. The point however wasn't enough and Matthysse knew it, though he was forced to take another low.

Almost angered by the final low blow Matthysse let it all hang out as the two men traded to the bell, with it seeming almost certain that Garcia has retained his titles. What perhaps became important however was the margin of the victory, with the decision going to Garcia by scores of 114-112 (twice) and 115-111.

That knock down and the swing of it, effectively cost Matthysse, and that's with out mentioning the numerous, unpunished low blows.

Mr Weeks, I'm usually a fan but don't let your new Audi advert go to your head, you had a real stinker here.

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