GARCIA VS MATTHYSSE
Hardcore fans have been anxiously awaiting the annoitment of their darling Lucas Matthysse. Danny and his outspoken father have different ideas. A matchup everyone loves…power vs power! Danny’s GIF perfect response to Lucas’ brutal knockout of Lamont Petersen sets the stage for a coronation, one way or the other.
Lucas Matthysse is the challenger, and the favorite. He has 2 losses on his record, both close decision losses to Zab Judah and Devon Alexander. Both are more boxers than punchers, who rely on speed and elusiveness to win rounds. Lucas fell victim to the cards, and after the Alexander loss he rededicated himself to the KO. Not content to continue leaving his fate in the judges hands, he returned with a vengeance reeling off 6 KO victories. This momentum led to him becoming a favorite in the division and a clamoring for him to challenge for the title. Now he gets the chance we all believe he so richly deserves.
Matthysse is an orthodox fighter who favors straight punches. He has a stiff jab and likes to land his heavy right and then disengage. Combine this with his accuracy, which leads to good power, he can wear down an opponent with a simple 1-2. 50 yrs ago, he might have been considered one dimensional and easy to dissect by a great boxer, but not so in today’s athletic style of boxing, where fighters can make a lot of money with great athleticism and work ethic. Matthysse’s technical mastery of the 1-2 combo is a lot for today’s boxers to handle. Even Ajose Olsegun, a fairly unorthodox fighter who presents a lot of different angles and attacks succumbed to the constant pressure and damage Matthysse’s straight punches. This is not to say he does not possess the ability to throw together combinations, but it is all predicated on his ability to land the 1-2. In his two losses, the boxers were able to avoid major damage while scoring points with well timed counters. Thus the success of the 1-2 is the key to Matthysse’s attack.
Danny Garcia is the reigning champion. He followed wins over Nate Campbell and Kendall Holt to beat Erik Morales for the title 18 months ago. He then proceeded to KO Amir Khan after a couple rounds of struggling with Khan’s world class hand speed. This fight was Garcia’s coming out party, as many wondered how much Morales had left in his career at the point of the Garcia fight. Against Khan however, he beat a good opponent in his prime by being the better FIGHTER. He showed toughness, struggling thru two rounds of confusion before he clipped Khan at the end of the 2nd. From there he gained confidence and began to time Khan really well, using toughness to absorb shots while landing effective counters. Khan abandoned his strength, boxing ability and fell victim to a well timed no look left hook. Garcia’s detractors claim he cannot rely on these type of tactics, especially against a more powerful opponent, but his supporters shout it shows toughness, instinct and timing. In reality, both are right which makes this weekend’s matchup so enthralling.
I expect an explosive short fight. I wouldn’t be suprised to see Danny try and box a little more at the beginning,but for how long can the brawler remain disciplined for. I think Matthysse establishes the timing of the 1-2 after a couple rds, and then the fireworks start. I believe once hurt, Danny will resort to brawling and then the action will explode. At this point anything can happen, because both men can throw bombs. But I said I’d pick a winner and I think Matthysse will stay more composed and finish Danny fairly early…
MAYWEATHER VS CANELO
The One has arrived! The man who many consider to be the biggest threat to Floyd Mayweather Jr. is Saul Canelo Alvarez. Coming off a recent victory over Robert Guerrero, Floyd returns to action just 4 months later, which I think will help him. Canelo comes off his first impressive victory, a decision over Austin Trout in which he dropped Trout in the 7th. Trout was coming off a victory over recent Floyd foe Miguel Cotto, which gave legitimacy to this win for Canelo. This sequence has lead fans to wonder if Canelo can push Floyd more than an older Cotto, who seemed to trouble Floyd more than any opponent since De La Hoya in 2007.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the biggest name in boxing who combines one of the greatest defensive repertoire’s in the sports history with elite timing and accuracy in his counters. Though not a powerhouse, Mayweather’s punches are strong enough to fend of the swarming attacks his opponent’s all claim he will be vulnerable to in their prefight gameplans. Those plans go out the window when faced with the reflexes and fundamental mastery Floyd displays. Regardless of your feelings towards his flamboyant personality, his technical mastery of boxing cannot be denied. He adjusts to his opponents attacks as well as any champion in history, which is why most of us who watch the sport regularly can’t imagining him losing this fight. Unless he considerably slows down and loses his reflexes for slipping head shots, it’s hard to imagine a current boxer who combines the exceptional athleticism and extensive boxing tactical knowledge that would be required to beat the current version of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
This is boxing however. Who picked Rigondeaux over Donaire? Not me. Who picked Gonzalez over Mares? Me neither. I picked Dawson over Stevensen by UD. So these fights don’t always play out the way we expect, which is what makes the sport so exciting. So obviously, completely discounting an established fighter is downright foolish. Canelo has a chance, and if he wins this is how I would imagine it. Canelo tries box at the beginning, attempting to try and trick Floyd into trading counters. He establishes a solid left hook to the body while absorbing the smaller man’s right counter potshots. He inflicts more than he takes on these trades and slows Floyd down, imposing himself as the larger, younger man. Then he moves back to box again but this time tries to land straight rights to the head of a weakened Mayweather. After stunning him, he moves in for the kill unleashing hooks and uppercuts until the ref stops him from punishing a completely dazed Mayweather.
So anything can happen, but what is most likely? Floyd dances around the ring, scoring with rights in a rather lackluster affair. Canelo never tracks him down and loses on points to the slow barrage of straight rights. A couple feiry exchanges excite the crowd and give Canelo 3 or 4 rounds but Floyd cruises to an unanimous decision with at least one score being 117-111.
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