By Rick Reeno
Before the fight was even signed, WBC/WBA junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia (27-0, 16KOs) was fully aware that Lucas Matthysse was a dangerous puncher (34-3, 32KOs), but he also viewed him as a boxer who never went through adversity in any of his fights. Danny says his father and trainer, Angel Garcia, put together a perfect game place to nullify Matthysse's power.
The game plan worked, with Garcia winning a twelve round unanimous decision over Matthysse on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Garcia practically closed Matthysse's eye in the sixth round and then dropped him in the eleventh.
"He's dangerous in the early rounds. I knew that if I used my legs and made him miss that I would get him at the end. I've faced adversity before. He's a great fighter, I take nothing away from him. He's never faced adversity, he's never been cut late in a fight. He's never been twelve hard rounds with a legend. I've been in there with a lot of technical fighters, who hit me with some great shots and I sucked it up," Garcia said.
"He's a strong puncher, no doubt about it. But somebody is going to be strong if you let them be strong. A lot of the punches that he hit me with, I was pulling my head back a little bit, I was blocking a little bit. I never really felt his power."
The first couple of rounds were close, with Matthysse placing a lot of pressure on Garcia - until the sixth round when Garcia's closed Matthysse's right eye. At that point, Garcia's confidence level grew and he started taking the fight to Matthysse.
"I think it was a jab. I saw him blinking his eye and then 45 seconds later I saw it closed," Garcia said.
"Right there, it was in my head. Before the fight I said to myself 'he never faced adversity. He's never been cut, he's never been hurt. And that was my game plan going in there - to cut his eye, to make his eye swollen, to knock him down - and I did both things and that's what a true champion does."