“Golden Boy and Al Haymon will get me that fight. I’m ready for that fight. I want to fight him.” – Lucas Matthysse on fighting Danny Garcia
ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey — Lucas Matthysse promised that Lamont Peterson wouldn’t be able to handle his power. That vow was delivered in spades last night with Matthysse scoring three knockdowns in route to a whitewash, third round TKO victory last night at the Boardwalk Hall.
Peterson came out trying to box off the backfoot and work his jab, making the bout’s first two minutes a chess match in positioning. Matthysse took the stanza in the last 20 seconds via a hard left hook counter and straight right that put Peterson on his heels.
Matthysse upped his aggression in the second by stalking after Peterson with wild haymakers and roughing him up in clinches with clubbing hooks to the body and head. Matthysse mixed in a few unintentional rabbit punches, and Peterson soon tried to come forward to stifle the pressure. Matthysse immediately countered this with a thudding right cross.
A stunned Peterson stumbled into the ropes and then clinched for time. He tried to go back to boxing off the backfoot, but his legs had stiffened and he soon found himself with his back to the ropes. Matthysse threw a straight right to the body which slightly dropped Peterson’s guard and opened up a deadly left hook upstairs.
The shot caught Peterson on the top of his head. His brain told him to move, and he made the initial steps before the damage short-circuited any further upright movement.
Peterson toppled to the floor, but was up at four and affirmed to Steve Smoger his willingness to continue. With 18 seconds left, Peterson was barely able to clinch without falling. In the corner, trainer Barry Hunter implored him not to let Matthysse “over-rough him” in the clinches. This implied he wanted Peterson to turn on his aggression and move Matthysse backwards, much like he was able to do against Amir Khan, Victor Ortiz and Kendall Holt.
Matthysse isn’t those fighters.
Peterson was scoring in-close to start the third round, but Matthysse clearly had control with cleaner, harder and varied power shots. After receiving them, Peterson would quickly hold or move away. With 1:14 left, Peterson made the fatal mistake of trying to exchange hooks with Matthysse and found himself back on the canvas via a left hook with Matthysse’s full weight behind it.
Peterson stumbled back to his feet but within seconds was back on the canvas by his corner via another left hook. The fight was quickly stopped by referee Steve Smoger.
“The first round I was trying to find out what I was bringing to the fight. After the second round I started connecting with more force,” said Matthysse in his post-fight interview. “I had two and a half months of preparation for this fight and that was the difference. Now I know I am the best at 140 pounds because no one has ever dominated Peterson the way I did tonight.”
On the undercard, Devon Alexander made easy work of a clearly overmatched Lee Purdy. The southpaw Alexander, who hurt his left hand in the first round, kept up a high workrate and many times stood in front of Purdy firing off combinations. The slower Purdy tried to come in behind a high guard, but he was mostly a step behind with his offense and didn’t possess the power to trouble the IBF welterweight titlist. Seeing the writing on the wall, Purdy’s corner threw in the towel before round eight.
“There are going to be a lot of critics saying Purdy wasn’t all that anyway, but he’s a good fighter,” said Alexander, who scored his first knockout in nearly three years. “Over in the U.K. he beat some good guys and I think he was very suitable. He came to fight and he gave me a good fight. I got the win. I got the technical knockout.”
Alexander is rumored to be in line to face Amir Khan in December.
This picture of Danny Garcia ringside after the Matthysse KO was the highlight of my night. Note Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin to his right looking at him with genuine concern for his well-being.
Most people aren’t giving Garcia any shot. I’ll go against the hype and say Danny Garcia has a solid chance of beating The Machine. Is he the favorite? No. Would I bet on him to win? Hell no. But he’s shown the ability to stick to a game plan even when hurt, and the Judah fight showed he can maintain movement (which he’ll have to do to blunt Matthysse’s power). Peterson didn’t have the power to gain Matthysse’s respect. Garcia might not either, but it’s possible a few of those powerful left hooks could give pause to Matthysse’s pressure. But as of right now, Lucas Matthysse is looking like an unstoppable force at 140 pounds.
At press time, Golden Boy is looking at reserving the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. for a Matthysse-Garcia main event supported by Judah-Peterson. I might have to make that trip.