As you probably know,
there's this little fight taking place on Saturday night at the MGM Grand
between Floyd Mayweather and Saul Alvarez. It's the year’s
biggest event in the sport of boxing and it's the type of fight that will draw
the coveted “casual boxing fan” (code for “person who watches the sport about
three times a year at the most”). But you could make an argument that it's the
semi-main event between Lucas Matthysse and unified junior welterweight beltholder
Danny Garcia that the hardcore followers of boxing (the kind that watches cards
on ESPN2 and UniMas) are most looking forward to.
In an era when you have been
force-fed the likes of Butterbean, Mia St. John and a cavalcade of assorted
mismatches often fought in front of a swath of empty seats in casino venues and
usually ignored by the pay-per-view audience, Garcia-Matthysse is the rarest
specimen in boxing the undercard bout everyone actually cares about.
And for Matthysse, it's the
most important fight he will have ever fought up this point.
Yeah, this fight could have
easily headlined on a premium cable network and been greatly anticipated but
the reality is that on that particular platform, it would have been just the
type of bout that only the diehard fans of the sport would've have tuned into.
Being part of “The One” (as they have dubbed this pay-per-view extravaganza)
puts him on a true international stage.
Being on Showtime means you
fight in front of hundreds of thousands of people. Fighting on this show means
Matthysse (who has built up a cult following) will be performing in front of
And with a win versus
Well, he knows what could be
“I know that winning is
going to open [a lot of] doors, so I am taking this fight seriously. Hopefully,
[a victory] means a future fight with Floyd Mayweather. Of course I want to
fight Floyd,” said Matthysse a few weeks back in front of a cadre of reporters
at the StubHub Center in Carson, where he met with the media before Showtime's
August 24th broadcast.
Yes, while Garcia's WBA and
WBC titles are as stake, this is really a de facto elimination bout to see who
puts himself at the front of the line to get some “Money” in 2014. Perhaps if “Canelo”
pulls the upset on Saturday night, we'll see an immediate rematch but short of
that, Showtime's much ballyhooed six-fight deal with Mayweather means that
suitable opposition is needed. And as the tepid results of Mayweather-Robert
Guerrero showed, the B-side is important in this equation.
And what bigger stage than
this card for Matthysse (or Garcia, for that matter) to be exposed to the
Matthysse, coming off a
three-round destruction of the usually sturdy Lamont Peterson, now faces an
undefeated foe in Garcia. He said of his opponent, “I feel his style suits me.
He's not a very good boxer. He's a fighter that's aggressive and comes forward
just like I do. I like that.”
Asked if he could withstand
Garcia's left hook, Matthysse responded. “Yes, I think I can take it. I've been
hit before and been able to withstand it. But if Danny drops me, I'm going to
get up.” He is hoping Garcia is willing to mix it up with him. “Hopefully he comes towards me but it
doesn't really matter. I have a feeling that we're both going to be very
aggressive and like I said, we're going to beat each other up. It will be a
Matthysse doesn't say all that
much. He's as reserved and quiet outside the ring as he is powerful and strong
inside it. In an age of swagger and false bravado, he is the strong, silent
Right now, he's still the
kind of a guy who isn't known to the general public. But that could change on
“It's the fight of my life…and
I'm going to take advantage of it.”
Regardless of the result of Garcia-Matthysse
or whatever reason this fight was placed on this undercard (or that as a
Showtime subscriber, you might be upset that you now have to buy the
pay-per-view to see this fight), isn't it refreshing to have something on the
undercard worth giving a damn about?
Let's be honest; an
overwhelming majority of these bouts are what I call “Bathroom/Beer Line/Media
Buffet Fights” because during these contests, you either go to the bathroom,
buy a beer or eat at the media center because, quite frankly, you aren't
Trust me; I've done all of
those things during more than one really bad pay-per-view undercard bout.
SPORTS ON EARTH
Here's my latest
contribution to SportsOnEarth.com, Shane Mosley's unique perspective of Alvarez-Mayweather
(having faced both):
Here's the latest
installment of “The Next Round” (a 90-minute edition) with Gabe Montoya and Yours
THE MACHINE FLURRIES
While the game between ‘Bama and Johnny
Football is the biggest sporting event this weekend in the States, you could make
an argument that “Canelo”-Mayweather is right behind it but with much more
international interest attached to it...Angel Garcia gonna Angel Garcia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04S2asgGKEk&feature=youtu.be...Oscar
De la Hoya made an announcement on Monday afternoon that he has checked himself
into rehab and will miss this weekend’s festivities…Speaking of Johnny
Football, Johnny Manziel made the cover of Time magazine. Wonder how much he'd charge to sign it?...Is that Eagles offense run
by Chip Kelly fun to watch or what?...
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