WBA and WBC light welterweight champion Danny "Swift" Garcia (27-0) proved again that he is more than worthy of his championship status. Many—including me—thought that Lucas "The Machine" Matthysse (34-3) would stop the champion and take his title.
Garcia would have none of it.
In a thrilling bout, Garcia out-boxed the slugging Matthysse to earn a unanimous decision win on Saturday at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Per BoxRec, the judges scored the fight as followed:
Robert Hoyle 114-112, Glenn Trowbridge 115-111, Juergen Langos 114-112
Though Matthysse had his moments, the decision was never really in doubt. Here's my scorecard and analysis for each round. The fighter's name that I tabbed of the winner in each round appears in the sub-headline.
Round 1 - Garcia
The intensity from the opening moments made the first round of this bout better than the entire fight that preceded. Ishe Smith and Carlos Molina’s bout was a snoozefest, but this one began with a big-fight feel.
In a cautiously fought round, Garcia was able to control the opening frame with his jab.
My Score - Garcia 10, Matthysse 9
Round 2 - Matthysse
The Machine walked Garcia down in the second round. He landed the more telling blows including a sound right hand. This was one of Matthysse’s few early bright spots. The fight was still up for grabs at this point.
My Score - Garcia 19, Matthysse 19
Round 3 - Garcia
The champion’s boxing skills allowed him to evade Matthysse’s power shots. Garcia’s confidence began to shine through in his movements. He even took a few shots early, but he didn’t fold. This is the point Garcia began to build momentum.
My Score - Garcia 29, Matthysse 28
Round 4 - Garcia
Body work and heart was shining through from Garcia in the fourth round. After Matthysse landed a hard right hand early, Garcia began to counter with hard body shots that slowed the challenger. This was another round for Garcia.
My Score - Garcia 39, Matthysse 37
Round 5 - Garcia
With the clear and present danger of Mathysse’s power still looming, Garcia began to make the fight look easy. His jab and counter combos were ruling the day to this point.
My Score - Garcia 49, Matthysse 46
Round 6 - Matthysse
After landing power shots with some regularity in the round, Matthysse and his corner should have had a confidence boost. Garcia appeared to slow down, and Matthysse was able to control the action.
My Score - Garcia 58, Matthysse 56
Round 7 - Garcia
Matthysse’s momentum was stopped by a combination of solid body work and a badly swollen right eye. Garcia landed a powerful combination toward the end of the round that Matthysse may not have seen because of the swelling. At this point, Matthysse needs something big to have a chance. The swelling was the biggest momentum shifter in the fight.
My Score - Garcia 68, Matthysse 65
Round 8 - Garcia
Swift was simply picking Matthysse apart in this round. The champion out-boxed the slower, one-eyed challenger throughout the round. At one point, it seemed logical for Matthysse's corner to consider stopping the fight because their fighter appeared to have vision issues.
My Score - Garcia 78, Matthysse 74
Round 9 - Garcia
In what amounted to a round off for Garcia, the champion still did enough to remain in control of the round and the fight. He had a huge lead at this point and was pouring it on.
My Score - Garcia 88, Matthysse 83
Round 10 - Matthysse
Just when it looked as if The Machine was done, he came through with a solid round. He landed a few hard shots on Garcia and chased the champion all over the ring to earn the round.
My Score - Garcia 97, Matthysse 93
Round 11 - Garcia
Matthysse began the round landing more power shots. One hard right hand early in the round knocked the mouthpiece from the champion’s mouth. With a champion’s heart, Garcia responded by knocking Matthysse down in the latter stages of the round. It wasn’t a devastating punch that put the challenger down, but it was legitimate. For all intent and purpose, this ended the suspense.
My Score - Garcia 107, Mathysse 101
Round 12 - Even
Garcia asserted himself when he needed to in the final round. He was penalized for a low blow. The infraction cost him a point, but that simply made the round even on my card.
My Score - Garcia 116, Mathysse 110
There isn't much else to say about Garcia at this point. He deserves to take on the winner of the Floyd Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez bout and a higher spot on everyone's pound-for-pound list.
This was a huge win over a tough opponent.
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