On September 14th pound for pound champion Floyd Mayweather and fan favorite Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will headline what is expected to be one of the biggest boxing events in history. Looking to steal the show though will be a co-main event that boxing enthusiasts cannot be more excited about. Undefeated welterweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia will be facing the hard hitting Argentinian Lucas “The Machine” Matthysse. It’s a fight that is expected to be a war between two fighters who love to brawl. Both fighters expect to win, both claim that they will not back down, and both are looking to get a shot at Floyd Mayweather next should he beat Alvarez.
Danny Garcia is the undefeated champion but he’s the underdog when it comes to betting odds, and to the fan favorite. In fact, Garcia hardly gets any credit despite his 26-0 record that includes 16 KO’s. Garcia’s road has been determined easy among boxing fans. He has a different style of fighting to him, where nothing is really spectacular, but everything is done well. There isn’t amazing speed, but there is speed, there isn’t amazing power, but he throws a hard left hook, there isn’t amazing defense, but he does have a good one. This style has helped him to an undefeated record, and while most people will say he hasn’t faced even a top five fighter in his weightclass, which is likely true, he’s getting his chance to face whom many consider to be the best junior welterweight in the world today on September 14th.
Garcia’s recognition began when he was used as another comeback fight for former world champion Erik Morales who was trying to make some noise again after defeating the undefeated Pablo Cano. The night didn’t go according to plan. Instead of Morales’s comeback continuing, it ended up being Garcia’s beginning. He defeated Morales soundly by Unanimous Decision. Next up came Amir Khan, another fight that many thought Garcia would be overmatched against. Garcia shocked the boxing world with a surprising 4th round TKO over Khan. With the victory over a the highly regarded Khan, it seemed that Garcia was one his way to stardom. What happened next is probably what lead to Garcia’s reputation being a bit tarnished.
Instead of taking on guys like Devon Alexander, Marcos Maidana, or Lucas Matthysse, strangely he went on again to fight Erik Morales, who many thought was too old to begin with in their first fight. Most people didn’t see the need for a rematch, and began to question Garcia’s choice. After defeating Morales again, he took another, what many would called a safe fight against a well past his prime Zab Judah. He defeated Judah, but it wasn’t easy. His last two fights have brought about many questions. The fans had gotten a small taste of Garcia after Khan, and wanted to see him against higher opposition, however that didn’t come to be, and it had people wondering just how good he really was. On September 14th, that will change as he will finally get his chance to prove to everyone that he is the real deal.
Enter “The Machine”, Lucas Matthysse. While Garcia lacks the fans and credit that he deserves, Matthysse brings the total opposite to the equation. The fans love him because of his ability to knock any man out at any time. He’s considered the hardest hitting fighter in the junior welterweight division, and maybe even out of the welterweights. His 34-2 record holds an astonishing 32 Knockouts, and the two losses, to Devon Alexander and Zab Judah, are highly debatable. Also, Matthysse scored knockdowns in both losses. He’s the man that brings excitement to any fight he’s in. Matthysse, like Garcia, is looking for a victory to gain a shot at Mayweather.
The road for Lucas Matthysse has been a bit harder. In 2010 he went up against a surging Zab Judah who was also on the comeback to redefining his career. But unlike Garcia, he was unable to capitalize on his opportunity. Despite knocking Judah down, and appearing to easily win the fight according to most people watching, Matthysse lost a highly controversial spilt decision to Judah, and the first fight of his professional career. Not even two months later, he knocked out DeMarcus Corley, and ended up earning a shot at Devon Alexander who had just lost to Timothy Bradley. It was another chance for Matthysse to put his name on the map in the junior welterweight division. But once again, Matthysse would fall short, despite knocking Alexander down as well, and again appearing to win the fight according to most people watching, Matthysse would go on to lose yet another highly controversial decision marking the second defeat of his career.
Since then, Matthysse has left nothing for the judges to decide. He’s had six fights and has ended them all before the final round could come to pass. The knockouts, and the respect he gained for the Judah and Alexander fight, have lead him to become a huge fan favorite going into September 14th, and a chance to stake his claim as the number one junior welterweight in the world.
It’s a fight that will define both of their careers. One man takes a step back in the junior welterweight division, while another takes a massive step forward. The winner will most likely be considered the best junior welterweight in the world, and should Mayweather defeat Canelo, they will be the next fan favorite in line to face the pound for pound king of boxing. Garcia is looking for respect, while Matthysse is looking for more recognition. The fight itself is expected to be a toe to toe brawl at times, which many think will favor Matthysse. But for a man who has been underestimated his entire career, Garcia may have more in the artillery than people think. Regardless of who wins, the dramatics and excitement leading up to the co-main event is just as big as the main event for boxing fans. September 14th will surely bring fireworks in one of the fights, if not both.