Before Floyd Mayweather and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez step in the squared circle, spectators will be treated to another title bout.
Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse will compete for the WBA and WBC light-welterweight titles in the final lead-in to Saturday night's main event. If Mayweather and Alvarez aren't careful, these two 140-pound fighters could steal the show.
Garcia enters the match as an undefeated champion, while Matthysse has demonstrated hulking power for his size, winning 30 of his 34 fights via knockout. Whoever wins this clash could earn top billing the next time around, perhaps even as Mayweather's next competitor.
Anyone who waits for the night's last fight to start watching is making a huge mistake.
Where: MGM Grand Garden Area, Las Vegas, NV.
When: Saturday, Sept. 14 at 9 p.m. ET
TV: Showtime PPV
Tale of the Tape
|Danny Garcia||Categories||Lucas Matthysse|
|26-0 (16 KO)||Record||34-2 (32 KO)|
|Philadelphia, PA.||Birthplace||Guadalajara, Mexico|
The Book on Garcia
He holds the unified titles and has never lost, yet Garcia still is perceived as the underdog.
He wasn't expected to beat Amir Khan last year either, but Garcia secured a knockout in the fourth round. A rising star for Golden Boy Promotions, Garcia stripped the title from Erik Morales in 2012 and later defeated him again.
Garcia displays unrelenting tenacity in the ring, which will certainly be tested against Matthysse.
Garcia defeated Zab Judah in his last taste of action, throwing 159 more punches than his opponent. Despite his control over the bout, he allowed Judah to connect on 59 percent of his power punches, according to CompuBox.
An aggressive boxer willing to take a blow to land one of his own, Garcia is not likely to back down against anyone. If anything, he's welcoming that the odds are stacked against him.
You know, every fight that you go into you have to fight the fight of your life. Every fight I’ve fought so I fought the fight of my life. He might underestimate my power, we’ll see. I’m going in there and fight a smart fight and whatever I have to do, I’ll do it. I want to fight my fight, I always fight my fight.
His refusal to blink could lead him to a beating if he's not careful, so Garcia must deliver a smart performance on Saturday night.
The Book on Matthysse
We're savages. We like to see people get knocked out cold. Matthysse's lethal punches have made him a competitor worth watching.
"The Machine" is grabbing everyone's attention by delivering knockout after knockout in spine-cringing fashion. He put the boxing community on notice by obliterating Lamont Peterson. He knocked down Peterson three times to secure a third-round win.
Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer offered some strong praise following Matthysse's dismantling of Peterson (via ESPN's Dan Rafael):
"We have a new Manny Pacquiao. He's from Argentina, and his name is Lucas Matthysse. What he just did, he did at the highest level of the sport. Nobody has ever done that to Lamont Peterson. I am speechless."
The Argentinian will simply pound away with ruthless aggression until the opposition breaks, and he doesn't mess around. According to CompuBox, he landed just one jab against Peterson, instead going to town with 31 connected power punches.
His defense will be tested by another aggressive competitor who won't be bullied into submission, but Garcia can't succumb to that many big blows from Matthysse.
This hyper-active clash will excite viewers while alerting them to two potential stars. Only one can truly shine in Vegas, and Matthysse is on too hot of a roll to cool down. Garcia will push him much further than Peterson, but Matthysse's power will eventually become too much to handle, resulting in a ninth-round knockout.