Thurman is Thurman, But Matthysse-Molina Steals The Show
Golden Boy Promotions held an exciting card at the Stubhub Center at Carson, California. The televised bouts held yesterday evening, April 26th, on Showtime Championship Boxing saw unbeaten Keith “One Time” Thurman and Omar “Panterita” Figueroa retain their respective World Championships. But Lucas Mattysse and John Molina engaged in a brutal, fast paced war which saw “The Machine” Mattysse rally from two knockdowns to stop Molina in the 11th.
A candidate for “Fight of the Year” does not need any promotion the way these two went at each other.
The opening contest saw an intriguing match for the WBC Lightweight championship. A confident Jerry Belmontes, who held five wins over the champion in the amateurs, set the pace early using a jab and counter hook off of good lateral movement and quicker hands. But the champion, Omar Figueroa, made an adjustment and proved the worth of getting an opponent to fight your fight. Omar, did not have the same power but was able to place his head in his opponent chest, reducing the range and scoring combos off of different angles but hiding in plain sight. He used his southpaw stance and gave many different looks.
Omar was able to initiate this throughout until a three round session in the center of the contest where Jerry would remember to use his foot speed and fast hands to regain temporary momentum. He even held his own inside but Figueroa was able to score more often. There was even a point in the 10th where roles were reversed and Omar won a close round by boxing and using his jab to steal the round.
The fight was a case of give and take as Omar (23-0-1 17 KO’s) retained his title by 12 round split decision losing one card 115-113 while taking the other two 118-110 and 116-112.
The fight of the night was the one where Argentine, Lucas Mattysse, who lost his last fight to Danny Garcia, used some new training with former world champion Juan Martin Coggi, to improve his boxing skills. Although this fight would soon turn into a war, the improvement in technique still helped Lucas to dominate most of the action. The problem was that every time Mattysse looked to have banked a round, Molina power and size would strike suddenly, stunning Lucas in the first and flooring him in the second and fifth. “Molina is a tough fighter.” Mattysse admitted. ” He took some big blows.”
The fourth to the seventh saw a battle of grit as both had their moments but Mattysse started penetrating more often. He landed two hooks and a right but pushed Molina to the mat stealing a knockdown in the eighth. But two rounds later he put Molina down again after a brutal combo of hooks and straight crosses finally got his measure. But he returned in the 11th, but Lucas got him just off the corner and hooked him from both sides until a left crossed through and dropped him again forcing the stoppage. Molina, (27-4 22 KO’s) was disappointed. “I had him hurt, but this is a learning experience. ” John explained. “I wasn’t well-known before the fight but I feel like I am now.” Mattysse (35-3 33 KO’s) won the WBC Continental Americas Super Lightweight title.
The main event ended before it had a chance to rev up. Juan Diaz, (40-10-1 29 KO’s) was outclassed by the WBA Interim Welterweight King, Keith Thurman out sped him with superior hand speed and a counter left hook which brought Diaz on one knee after it hit his temple. “I landed a clean left hook and he felt it. So, he thought it would be better to take a knee.” Thurman surmised. But Diaz came out in the third with a body attack and held his own but a body shot during the round would close the show as Diaz would stay on his stool at the beginning of the fourth. “I got caught with a good body shot, in the rib.” Diaz said. “I wanted to give a war, but I had to know when it was my time.” Thurman improves to 23-0 with 21 KO’s.