By Jake Donovan
The mission was simple for Lucas Matthysse; win - no matter how - and he pleads his case for a future showdown with Adrien Broner.
Mission accomplished - at least on Matthysse’s part, although he apparently would rather tend to unfinished business with Danny Garcia. The Argentine slugger gets to wait out the result of Broner’s Showtime-televised main event battle with Emmanuel Taylor after dispatching previously unbeaten Roberto Ortiz in two rounds Saturday evening at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
On paper, the bout figured to be the most action-packed of the evening, though almost always a safe bet with any fight featuring Matthysse. The opening round didn’t play out according to script, with both fighters starting out relatively slow, even drawing a spattering of boos from restless fans anxious for blood.
Matthysse fought with much tighter defense than was the case in his last ring appearance, where he was forced to overcome two knockdowns before bombing out John Molina Jr. in 11 rounds this past April. Ortiz struggled to find openings, often fighting in reverse. The constant lateral movement didn’t frustrate Matthysse, who eventually caught up with Ortiz to drop him late in round two courtesy of a wicked left hook to the body.
Ortiz wisely remained on a knee as he took the mandatory eight count, rising to his feet as the referee reached nine. What he didn’t expect was what immediately followed as Esteves, apparently not liking what he saw in the Mexican boxer’s eyes, elected to stop the contest. The decision didn’t sit well with Ortiz or the crowd, who loudly booed the verdict.
The official time was 2:45 of round two.
Matthysse rolls to 36-3 (34KOs), picking up his second straight win since a points loss to Danny Garcia in their World super lightweight championship last September. Ortiz suffers his first pro loss, falling to 31-1-1 (24KOs).
The fringe belt Matthysse acquired in the fight puts him line for another crack at Garcia, or at least the winner of the mandatory title fight between Garcia and Viktor Postol.
However, the night was all about setting up a future showdown with Broner, which is the likely direction adviser Al Haymon will steer his fighters either late this year or in early 2015.
That didn't stop Matthysse from addressing old business.
"I challenge Danny Garcia to not be a chicken. Stop fighting little fighters," Matthysse challenged afterward, speaking to Garcia's two-round stoppage of overmatched Rod Salka last month in Brooklyn. "Come and fight me."
Adrien Broner vs. Emmanuel Taylor - 12 rounds, super lightweight
Lucas Matthysse KO2 Roberto Ortiz
Andre Berto UD10 Steve Upsher Chambers
Michael Perez UD10 Jared Robinson
Rau'shee Warren UD10 Jose Luis Araiza
Robert Easter KO1 Roberto Acevedo
Terrell Gausha UD6 Juan Carlos Rojas
Raynell Williams UD4 Evan Woolsey
Jamontay Clark KO1 Matt Montalvo
Lamont Roach Jr. MD4 Rocco Espinoza
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
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