Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Garcia vs. Matthysse: Boxing’s Savage-Steamboat?

by Cliff Rold

It might not steal the show.

After all the ‘will they or won’t they’ leading to the ‘yes they will’ announcement on Thursday afternoon, it would be at least a mild disappointment if they didn’t.

There is an old adage that without a main event, there is no event.  September 14 was an event from the moment its main event was announced.  Floyd Mayweather versus Canelo Alvarez, for the World Jr. Middleweight crown, is the richest fight available in the sport today.  Even if it fails to be a great fight, Mayweather-Alvarez has all the spectacle one could ask for. 

A wildly successful multi-city press tour and early revenue records have generated a ton of buzz.  The only negative anyone seemed to come up with was a hefty price tag that would make a high definition purchase come in a nickel shy of $75.

That soft point was likely erased with the announcement of a single additional contest.  The event now has a red meat scrap even the hardest hardcore fan can love. The consensus top two Jr. Welterweights in the World will throw down for all the marbles on the undercard of Mayweather-Alvarez.

A main event on its own any other night of the year, finally Danny Garcia-Lucas Matthysse is signed.

The undefeated Garcia (26-0, 16 KO) faces a Lucas Matthysse (34-2, 32 KO) who, despite two decision losses, many view as still unbeaten.  The potential outcomes range from Matthysse by destruction, to Garcia by decision, to a two-way classic.

We don’t know.

It’s good not to know. 

If, at the end of the night, this is the show stealer it looks like it could be, the possibility is there to have a massive audience show up talking Mayweather-Alvarez and leave talking about the men who fought before them.

Something similar happened twenty-five years and change ago in another massive event.  On March 29, 1987, in front of a then-record indoor crowd of 93,173, a young vibrant champion in his prime faced the long-time standard bearer of his industry.

The world tuned into Wrestlemania III to see if Hulk Hogan could body slam Andre the Giant.  He did.  Fans cheered like mad.

But a quarter century later, the match still most talked from the card happened about an hour earlier.  The story was simple: fearing a defeat in a previous match, Savage worked over Steamboat’s throat with a ring bell and seemingly ended his career.  Shockingly(!), Steamboat recovered in time for a Wrestlemania rematch.

Worked at a brisk pace and telling a story of revenge and athleticism, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat (with an assist from George “The Animal” Steele) upended Randy “Macho Man” Savage to win the WWF Intercontinental title. 

It was a turning point in both men’s careers.  Savage would emerge as a main event player on the WWF end of professional wrestling, winning the ‘World Title’ at the following years Wrestlemania.  Steamboat, who left the WWF for family reasons not long after his bout with Savage, would re-emerge in the NWA in 1989 and engage in arguably the greatest series of wrestling classics on U.S. soil in the 20th century against “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair.

Now surely, someone reading here will point out that professional wrestling is a scripted endeavor, an athletic soap opera.  It’s a fair point.  It is also fair to point out the spectacle aspect of a big time boxing match and big time wrestling cards have always borrowed from one another. 

Gorgeous George influenced Muhammad Ali.  Floyd Mayweather’s shtick crosses over so well he actually played the part of undercard enhancement at a Wrestlemania himself. 

The businesses are different.  The psychology of the opportunity isn’t.  Steamboat and Savage turned out the lights on the perfect night.  They knew there would never be a bigger platform for their talents and they took advantage. 

Garcia and Matthysse won’t have the benefit of rehearsal.  Neither man can rely on a hot valet (the late and lovely Miss Elizabeth) or a weird dude who eats turnbuckles with a green tongue (Steele).

They do have Angel Garcia though. 

Hmmm…

Being serious, Garcia and Matthysse don’t need any of those things.  They have the stage.

Boxing has few genuine household names; guys who might get mentioned as desirable foes for Mayweather somewhere like ESPN’s Second Take.  Be it for one round or twelve, this is a rare fight where both men have at least the hope they can enter the fraternity of mainstream names. If they seize this opportunity, both winner and loser can factor prominently in the future of Mayweather at Welterweight and numerous other big fights.  
 
At the least, this looks on paper like the best pay-per-view undercard clash since Joel Casamayor-Diego Corrales I in 2003.  It is already stoking memories of fights like Simon Brown-Maurice Blocker and Jeff Fenech-Azumah Nelson I. 

It is the best of boxing.

It can also be the best of entertainment.  Canelo Hogan might not have the stuff to slam Mayweather the Giant.  Garcia-Matthysse has the chops to be Savage-Steamboat.

And Garcia-Matthysse is done. 

All that’s left is the anticipation.  As Randy Savage might have said, “Ohhhhh Yeah.”

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by crold1 on 07-19-2013

[QUOTE=PRp4p757;13572541]Can't lie I immediately knew what was being referenced from the title... don't watch anymore but this was part of my childhood here. Most these cats too young to remember when wrestling actually seemed real. Any ways this fight is…

Comment by PRp4p757 on 07-19-2013

Can't lie I immediately knew what was being referenced from the title... don't watch anymore but this was part of my childhood here. Most these cats too young to remember when wrestling actually seemed real. Any ways this fight is…

Comment by JoeKidd on 07-19-2013

[QUOTE=.:: JSFD26 ::.;13572336]Yup... [B]PED[/B]erson was supposed to be bigger and stronger too... [SIZE="1"][I]Posted from Boxingscene.com App for Android[/I][/SIZE][/QUOTE] But not Peterson.

Comment by chessmatch on 07-19-2013

[QUOTE=.:: JSFD26 ::.;13572336]Yup... PEDerson was supposed to be bigger and stronger too... [SIZE="1"][I]Posted from Boxingscene.com App for Android[/I][/SIZE][/QUOTE] Will you cry if your boyfriend does the harlem shake in front of millions?

Comment by chessmatch on 07-19-2013

I like both fighters.... but y'all Matthysse nuthuggers are going to far.... the way you write of Garcia is hilarious. He could easily make Matthysse do the harlem shake with that left hook and you will all be crying.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (48)
Top Headlines Hunter: Ward Mistreated By Media, HBO - Why Wouldn't He Retire? Daniel Franco Training, Set To Return on March 23 in LA Canelo is Confident That He Can Put Chavez Jr. To Sleep Video: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Discusses Canelo, Weight, More Photos: Lucian Bute, Eleider Alvarez - Go Face To Face at Presser Canelo: Mayweather-McGregor Would Be a Black Eye For Boxing De La Hoya: Canelo-Chavez Will Be a War - There is No Favorite Orlando Salido Being Considered for Canelo-Chavez Co-Feature Rey Vargas vs. Gavin McDonnell To Be Carried By KlowdTV Photos: Canelo, Chavez Jr. - Go Face To Face in New York City Floyd Mayweather Plans Big 40th Birthday Bash in California Garcia On Dad's Tirade: Free Speech, He Can Say What He Wants De La Hoya: GGG Can Fight Canelo or Keep Making What He Makes! Pacquiao's Adviser Aims To Finalize Fight, Venue By Next Week Lee Selby To Return On Haye-Bellew, Will Face Andoni Gago Photos: Caleb Plant Putting in Work For Ring Return Otto Wallin Very Excited To Headline Hometown Card on April 22 Frank Buglioni Injured In Sparring, Out Of Ricky Summers Defence Photos: Gennady Golovkin in Top Form, Putting in Work For Jacobs Caleb Plant on Sparring George Groves, Future Plans Bellew Warns Haye: Try Something - I'll Smack Your F***ing Face! Wilder: Would've Been 'Stupid' to Face a 'Killer' in This Fight Lomachenko: I'll Be No. 1 P4P Once I Beat Two Lightweight Champs Hughie Fury’s Trainer: He Must Rip Title Away From Joseph Parker Frank Buglioni Joins Matchroom Ahead Of March 4 Return Andy Townend, With 3/4 Win, To Face Jon Kays For Commonwealth Danny Garcia: I'm a More Patient, Balanced Fighter Than Thurman Jacobs Feels Golovkin's Hype is Built on Calculated Matchmaking Deontay Wilder, Defense Aside, Has Far Bigger Targets For 2017 Arum: Reports of Pacquiao vs. Khan Deal is Complete Bullsh*t! Roach: I Won't Count McGregor Out in Mayweather Fight Photos: Miguel Flores vs. Dat Nguyen - Official PBC on FS1 Weigh-In Christian Montano Inks Managerial Pact With Cameron Dunkin De La Hoya Expects Canelo vs. Chavez To Break 1 Million PPV Buys Canelo: Rivalry is Legit, Chavez Jr. Said A lot of Things About Me Jose Uzcategui vs. Andre Dirrell IBF Eliminator in Play Chavez: They Say Canelo is The Best, A Win Opens Many Doors Chocolatito Focused on Improving Defense, Speed in Camp Photos: Canelo, Chavez Jr. - Go Face To Face in Mexico City Lomachenko 'A Little Disappointed' He's Not Fighting Salido Next
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement