By Keith Idec
It took him six-plus rounds, but Thomas Mattice made Rolando Chinea pay for his reckless aggression Friday night.
Mattice remained unbeaten by stopping Chinea in the seventh round of a scheduled eight-round lightweight fight in Sloan, Iowa. Cleveland’s Mattice seemed to be losing through six rounds because Chinea never stopped coming forward and throwing punches.
Mattice changed the bout by clipping Chinea with a right hand early in the seventh round that stunned him. An opportunistic Mattice seized his chance by unloading a barrage of power punches that made Chinea finally move backward, eventually into the ropes.
Chinea, who had never been down during his career, didn’t throw back punches throughout Mattice’s onslaught. Referee Adam Pollack was waving an end to the fight as a stumbling Chinea fell to the canvas after Mattice connected with a left hook.
The 27-year-old Mattice improved to 11-0 and recorded his ninth knockout by winning a fight Showtime televised from WinnaVegas Casino Resort. The 26-year-old Chinea, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, dropped to 15-2-1.
In his previous fight, Chinea upset Kenneth Sims Jr. (12-1, 4 KOs), a highly touted junior welterweight prospect from Chicago, on July 14 in Miami, Oklahoma. He appeared to be on his way to pulling off a second straight upset before Mattice’s comeback.
Chinea came forward from the second the fight started. He constantly threw punches at Mattice, and although many of those weren’t hard shots, he landed enough of them to begin building a lead early in this contest.
Mattice managed to land some hard shots of his own, despite mostly moving backward, just not enough to consistently win rounds.
They traded punches during a lengthy exchange toward the end of the third round. Mattice had some of his best moments in the fifth round, when he countered Chinea as his relentless opponent plowed forward with his hands down.
Chinea came back to have a solid sixth round and regained control of the fight.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.