By Keith Idec
It took a sluggish Lucas Matthysse seven-plus rounds to land consequential shots Saturday night.
When the Argentinean knockout artist finally connected with flush punches, Tewa Kiram couldn’t take it. Matthysse dropped Kiram twice in the eighth round and won their scheduled 12-rounder by knockout in the main event of HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” doubleheader from The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Referee Raul Caiz Sr. stopped the fight at 1:21 of the eighth round after Matthysse’s stiff left jab floored Kiram and left him motionless, under a bottom rope. Kiram went down after a delayed reaction from Matthysse’s punch and didn’t attempt to get up.
Earlier in the round, Matthysse’s left-right combination knocked down Kiram for the first time in what to that point had been a fight that lacked action.
Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs, 1 NC) won the previously vacant WBA world welterweight title. Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC) owns the WBA’s “super” welterweight title and is considered the sanctioning organization’s real champion at 147 pounds.
Matthysse, 35, has now won each of his two fights since Viktor Postol surprisingly knocked him out in the 10th round of their October 2015 bout at StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Before Saturday night, the 25-year-old Kirman (38-1, 28 KOs) hadn’t faced anyone nearly as accomplished or dangerous as Matthysse. He also fought outside of Thailand for the first time since making his pro debut in January 2008.
Before the fight completely changed in the eighth round, Kiram connected with an overhand right with just under two minutes to go in the seventh round. That was the most noticeable punch Kiram landed during the fight that wasn’t a jab.
After the fifth round, a California State Athletic Commission official took a jar away from one of Kiram’s corner men. The unknown substance had been used to rub on Kiram between rounds.
Matthysse connected with a clean right hand and then a left toward the end of the fifth round.
Matthysse mostly missed with his power punches in the third round. He did land a right hand to Kiram’s body just before the third round ended, though.
Matthysse had difficulty getting past the taller, longer Kiram’s jab in the first two rounds. Kiram pumped his jab throughout those two rounds, yet was wary of Matthysse’s power and therefore careful.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.