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Garcia vs. Matthysse: Head-to-Toe Breakdown for Mayweather Undercard Bout

Kevin McRaeFeatured Columnist IVOctober 30, 2016

Garcia vs. Matthysse: Head-to-Toe Breakdown for Mayweather Undercard Bout

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    Boxing fans just got one more reason to part with their cash on Sept. 14, as Danny Garcia will defend his junior lightweight titles against Lucas Matthysse on the Mayweather vs. Alvarez undercard. 

    This huge announcement adds a second main event-quality fight to the pay-per-view card. More importantly, it's a strong statement by Golden Boy Promotions that it's willing to give the fans some bang for their PPV buck and not force them to shell out big bucks for one marquee fight. 

    Garcia (26-0, 16 KO) won his titles by stopping Amir Khan last July. He has successfully defended them twice—against Erik Morales and Zab Judah—but has never faced an opponent with the Argentine's strength and brutal knockout power.

    Matthysse (34-2, 32 KO) established himself as the No. 1 contender when he nearly decapitated 140-pound titleholder Lamont Peterson on May 18 in Atlantic City. He's a fearsome puncher who has won his last five fights inside the distance.

    This is a fight full of intrigue and storylines for boxing fans. Read on as we give our complete head-to-toe breakdown of the fighters.

Fight Info

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    Boxing Ability

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      Garcia

      Danny Garcia is an athletic fighter who uses his quickness to get into advantageous positions and then uncork his power punches. That's when he's at his best and totally locked-in. But he sometimes has a bad tendency to forget about his jab and only focus on power punching. 

       

      Matthysse

      Lucas Matthysse's boxing ability is highly underrated. He has good head movement and defense, but he sometimes relies on the brutality of his punches to carry the day. There are few in the business better at cutting off the ring, and when he hurts someone, he doesn't let him off the hook.

       

      Advantage

      It depends on which version of Garcia shows up in this fight. He would be better served trying to use his advantages in movement and quickness to outbox Matthysse. Engaging in a firefight would be potentially disastrous against someone with the Argentine's punching power, so we'll say that Garcia focuses on boxing instead of fighting, which gives him a slight edge in this category.

    Power

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      Garcia

      Garcia doesn't have one-punch knockout power, but he uses his quickness and movement to get into positions where he can do damage. He's knocked out 16 of 26 opponents, including two of his last three, but isn't known as a huge puncher.

       

      Matthysse

      Where to begin? Matthysse is known as possibly the biggest puncher in boxing. He's a relentless, stalking fighter who's scored 32 of his 34 victories by knockout and throws from all types of angles. Not only does he have an 86 percent knockout percentage, but he's knocked down every man who's been in the ring with him.

       

      Advantage

      This one is a no-brainer. Matthysse possesses an overwhelming advantage in power. That's no slight against Garcia. You'd be hard-pressed to find any fighter below 154 pounds with more power than "The Machine."

    Defense

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      Garcia

      Garcia's best defense is usually his offense. He's shown in previous fights that he has little problem standing in the pocket and trading punches with his opponent. That allows him to rip his signature nasty counters. Unfortunately for him, that makes it somewhat easy to hit him cleanly. He does have good head movement and a solid chin and has shown the boxing smarts to know when clinching is his best option.

       

      Matthysse

      Matthysse isn't bad defensively, but he can definitely be hit. You just need to be willing to take the risk that he'll nail you with something much harder. Thus far the only two fighters to beat him—Devon Alexander and Zab Judah—did so by boxing and keeping away from his power. 

       

      Advantage

      Even. Both guys hit and can be hit. Neither is bad defensively nor particularly good. 

    Game Plan

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      Garcia

      Garcia is in a bit of a tight situation with this fight. It's quite possibly his strengths, not his weaknesses, that could get him into the most trouble. He generally likes to keep the fight at a close distance and rip counters on the inside. The problem against a foe like Matthysse is that Garcia can't counter a punch that puts him on the mat. 

      Garcia is going to need to rely on his jab a lot more in this fight, and he'd be best served by keeping the fight at a distance and trying to outbox the Argentine. Engaging in a firefight is a bad idea this time around because the Puerto Rican is outgunned.

       

      Matthysse

      What do you expect from Matthysse? That he'll suddenly forget who he is and what got him here? The Argentine will do what he always does, and that's come forward and attack. He'll look to cut off the ring and make his power the deciding factor by landing bombs. 

      "The Machine" only knows one way to fight. He doesn't come to the ring looking for a decision—don't expect that to change.

       

      Advantage

      Matthysse and in a big way. He needs to do what he always does. Garcia, on the other hand, has to make adjustments to contend with his foe's punching power. That doesn't bode well for him.

    Early Prediction

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      Maybe we're all buying whole hog into the hype, but it's difficult to pick against Lucas Matthysse in this fight. For all their bravado, this is the one fight that Danny Garcia's people probably hoped they'd never have to face. 

      Matthysse has devastating, scary punching power. Sitting in press row for his fight against Lamont Peterson this past May, I couldn't help but take note of the sickening thud with which his punches landed. And the man he blasted out that night was no chump. He was a world-class fighter and a world champion.

      Garcia is a talented fighter. He burst onto the radar in a big way with a massive upset last summer. But he's never been in the ring with what he'll see on Sept. 14.

      Amir Khan is a big name, but his chin struggles were well-known before he  faced Garcia.

      Erik Morales and Zab Judah are names and once excellent fighters, but both were past their best when Garcia defeated them.

      Matthysse is a prime, hard-charging power puncher who will be just too much for the champion to handle. Garcia will not let him have it easily, but he'll be too brave and succumb to Matthysse's assault.

      Matthysse TKO 7 Garcia

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