LAS VEGAS – Turns out Danny Garcia can box a little too.
Garcia, known more for his power than his ability, defeated Lucas Matthysse by a unanimous decision to retain his RING and WBC and WBA titles Saturday on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez undercard.
But he did he did it more with guile than power, deftly landing crisp combinations throughout the fight and avoiding Matthysse’s vaunted power shots to win by scores of 115-111, 114-112 and 114-112. THE RING scored it 114-112 for Garcia.
Matthysse (34-3, 32 knockouts) demonstrated considerable courage. The Argentine’s right eye was all but closed from the seventh round on, making him effectively a one-eyed fighter. Still, he fought hard and had his moments.
Matthysse went down in the 11th round from a left he apparently couldn’t see as he lay against the ropes, although he wasn’t hurt. Garcia (27-0, 16 KOs) also lost a point in the 12th for the last in a series of low blows.
Matthysse dictated much of the action, particularly in the first half of the fight. He seemed to have a lead going into Round 7. However, things changed when the eye became swollen. Garcia began to land blistering combinations with more frequency and was difficult to hit cleanly, which allowed him to pull ahead on the cards.
Garcia won seven of the 12 rounds on 114-112 cards, an indication that the fight was anything one-sided, and eight rounds on the 115-111 card.
Garcia has beaten in succession Erik Morales, Amir Khan, Morales again, Zab Judah and now Matthysse, a run that leaves no doubt that he is among the best fighters in the world.
Meanwhile, the momentum Matthysse had established by stopping Michael Dallas and then Lamont Peterson in succession is now lost even though he fought bravely.
Photo / Al Bello-Getty Images