By Kirk Jackson
Unified WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine light welterweight Champion Danny “Swift” Garcia 26-0 (16 KO’s) will take on interim WBC light welterweight Champion Lucas “The Machine” Matthysse 34-2, (32 KO’s) in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand September 14th.
Photo: Gene Blevens/ Hogan Photos/ Golden Boy
The bout headlines one of the strongest undercards in recent memory and precedes the highly anticipated match-up between Floyd “Money” Mayweather 44-0 (26 KO’s) and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez 42-0-1 (38 KO’s).
Although the most of the hype and glamour surrounds the historic match-up between Mayweather and Alvarez, the bout between Matthysse and Garcia however is a highly touted potential fight-of-the-year candidate, matching unbeaten Garcia’s strong boxing skills against the power punching of Matthysse.
“Vegas don’t know nothing, you don’t know nothing, I know everything,” Angel Garcia said at one of the final media press conferences leading up into this historic weekend.
“People still underestimate the champion.”
I don’t. Having doubted Garcia’s abilities in the past, he has proved me wrong on more than one occasion.
As the stage gets grander for Garcia, he continues to improve. His nickname is “Swift” and in regards to handspeed he may not live up to that moniker. But he is “Swift” when it comes to making adjustments.
He has displayed that ability against Erik Morales, Zab Judah and with Amir Khan.
These adjustments while suttle at times, are important and have played dividends in changing the outcome of his fights.
Whether it’s offering a different posture and angle for defense, picking off punches, the positioning of his feet to have the advantage, changing the angle of his punches, knowing when to widen and loop punches, the variety of punches he throws, Garcia has displayed the ability to alter his game plan in order to secure a victory.
But despite his accomplishments against well established fighters, especially in the case of potential future hall-of-fame fighters Morales and Judah, Garcia still does not get the credit from many members of the media and many fans. As is evidenced if we look at the odds for the fight.
At a press conference mentioned earlier, Angel Garcia voiced his displeasure about the amount of disrespect towards his son.
While Danny, remaining calm and cool said, “I’m not really worried about what people think or why they disrespect me. We’re going to mix it up, and I’ll see how he reacts after getting hit by a big shot. That’ll dictate the fight.”
Matthysse physically dominated Peterson, a skillful, versatile, legitimate light welterweight, en route to a devastating stoppage inside three rounds.
He also annihilated Mike Austin in one round, with 32 of 34 fights finishing within the distance, not many fighters escape the wrath of the “Machine.”
When I think of Matthysse, I think of relentless pressure, punching power and underrated boxing ability.
Honestly, the Argentinian can be viewed as an undefeated fighter. The two losses on his record are controversial closely contested bouts against Devon Alexander and Zab Judah. One can easily argue Judah and Alexander were the recipients of home cooking.
Garcia and Matthysse have underrated boxing ability. The key to the fight is dictating the pace and controlling the action.
Despite his early round success in recent fights, it can take awhile for Matthysse to get into his fighting groove.
Garcia should take advantage of that and try to get the early rounds in the bank by getting off to a fast start.
Garcia will make adjustments as the fight wears on and with those early rounds in the bank it can make things easier.
He should avoid continuous exchanges, keep the fight on the outside and not be a stationary target for Matthysse’s body punching.
Garcia will stay active, whether with movement or punch output. Making the Argentinian miss and making him pay is also crucial for the success of Garcia.
He will do enough to pull off a close victory and will emerge as one of the frontrunners to face the winner of Mayweather/Alvarez. More likely to be in discussions for facing Mayweather, if Mayweather wins because they are closer in weight.