Danny Garcia retained his light-welterweight titles with victory over Lucas Matthysse
Last Updated: 15/09/13 8:33am
Danny Garcia retains his WBC and WBA light-welterweight titles
Danny Garcia retained his WBC and WBA light-welterweight titles with a points victory over Lucas Matthysse at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
In a thrilling warm-up to the main event, Garcia confounded the critics by keeping hold of his unbeaten record as he took Matthysse's best shots while dropping the Argentinian in the 11th round.
In a highly-anticipated match-up between two of boxing's heavy-handed brawlers, Garcia (27-0) surprisingly entered as the betting underdog on account of Matthysse's destructive record.
In a competitive fight in which both men looked to land their power shots, Matthysse was first to land but Garcia took it well.
Each had his successes with the American countering well in the fourth to take the upper hand, although Matthysse edged the next with some good combinations.
As the fight wore both men landed at will, Garcia's left hook that accounted for Amir Khan gradually closing the right eye of his opponent, who increasingly loaded up on his shots.
The 11th was the signature round, with both looking to end it there and then and while Matthysse was having the better of the furious exchanges Garcia put him down for the first time in his career.
They went for everything in the final session, where Garcia was deducted a point for a low blow, and they were still swinging when the final bell went amid wild applause.
The feeling was that Garcia had done enough to retain his belts and so it proved, with scores of 115-111 and 114-112 (twice) sending Matthysse (34-3) to a third defeat.
The Argentinian was reportedly sent to hospital for checks on injuries to his eye, jaw and hand, while Garcia can rightfully claim to be the best light-welterweight in the world.
In the third world title fight of the evening, Carlos Molina took the IBF light-middleweight title from Ishe Smith in his first defence.
Molina was the busier and more aggressive of the pair throughout the contest and although one judge gave it to Smith 116-112, the two others had Molina in front 117-111 and 116-112.
The new champion is now 22-5-2 after overcoming some early career setbacks, while Smith slumps to 25-6.
Also on the undercard, Britain's Ashley Theophane was on the wrong end of a another split decision as he went down to former world title challenger Pablo Cesar Cano 98-92, 97-93 and 94-96.