By Rick Reeno
MGM Grand, Las Vegas - Danny Garcia (27-0, 16KOs) fought his heart out, dropping Lucas Matthysse (34-3, 32KOs) in the eleventh and winning a twelve round unanimous decision to retain the WBC/WBA junior welterweight titles. The scores were 115-111, 114-112, 114-112.
Garcia started off by his using his movement and looked to counter. Matthysse applied the pressure and came forward, with both looking to land big shots. Matthysse landed a good shot on Garcia, who took it well and looked to counter. Matthysse got the better of the action in the second with a few well-placed shots. The third was close and could have went either way. Garcia did very well in the fourth, countering off the back-foot and landed hard shots to Matthysse's head and body. Matthysse edged the fifth with a last minute flurry of punches. Both had their moments in the sixth, with Garcia going often to the body as Matthysse targeted the head.
In the seventh, Matthysse's right eye started swelling up very badly after Garcia landed a hard shot to the area. Garcia was trying to target the eye during the action, as Matthysse looked for big bombs. Garcia was catching Matthysse with big hooks in the eight. It appeared that Matthysse was unable to see the punches coming due to his closing right eye. Garcia continued to pack up the points in the ninth. He was outworking and outlanding the challenger. Garcia was still coming on in the tenth. Matthysse lost some of his snap but he continued to come forward and threw a lot of punches.
At the start of the eleventh, Matthysse came out throwing big punches with both hands and had Garcia on the run. During an exchange against the ropes, Garcia landed a series of punches to send Matthysse down in a round he was likely winning. Garcia landed a good flurry to close things out. Matthysse was hunting for a big shot in the twelfth, with Garcia coasting at times and trying to counter at others. Garcia may have cost himself the round when he hit Matthysse low and the referee Tony Weeks took away a point. Once the fight restarted, Garcia wanted to go to war and the two of them were winging bombs with both hands as the crowd stood up to cheer them on until the final bell.