Preliminary bouts in pay-per-view telecasts rarely outshine the main event, quickly becoming forgotten results for the record books and historians’ appreciation.
Boxing fans often must deal with appetizers lacking appeal and action. Moreover, promoters suitably find slots for their emerging fighters on pay-per-view openers, but match them with inferior competition.
The typical trend of the nondescript preliminary could change with the fight leading into the Floyd Mayweather Jr.- Saul “Canelo” Alvarez pay-per-view headliner Sept. 14.
Before Mayweather and Alvarez enter the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for a unified super-welterweight title, super lightweights Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse will meet in a separate title fight that has intrigued fans and media even before it was officially announced three months ago.
“I’m happy to give the fans the fight that they want,” Garcia said.
Garcia and Matthysse are considered the top two fighters in the 140-pound weight class. And, although he won two sanctioning body titles last year and remains unbeaten in 26 fights, Garcia will be far from an overwhelming favorite against Matthysse.
“I really don’t care what the media thinks or who they think is the best, because in my heart I know I’m the best, and I hold the titles,” Garcia said. “September 14 is going to be another day at work for me, and I’m just going to defend my title. I’m still champion, and the people who don’t believe, hey, that’s their problem.”
A disputed split decision loss against Devon Alexander two years ago set Matthysse off on a current six-fight win streak. Instead of relying on the judges, Matthysse has won all six bouts by knockouts, further enhancing his reputation as one of the sport’s strongest punchers.
A native of Argentina, Matthysse (34-2, 32 KOs) served notice that he is ready to make the step toward stardom in his recent bout. Matthysse was expected to deal with solid boxing and slick defense against titleholder Lamont Peterson. Instead, Matthysse knocked down Peterson four times in a third-round technical-knockout victory on May 18.
“I respect Danny Garcia as a champion,” Matthysse said. “It is going to be a difficult fight, but I’m not looking for a knockout. I am looking to have a great victory and give a great fight.”
Garcia, of Philadelphia, refuses to be awed by Matthysse’s ratio of finishing opponents within the distance.
“I’ve fought big punchers, I took big shots before,” Garcia said. “I’m going to do what I do best, make adjustments in the fight and get the victory.”
Matthysse, whose other professional loss against Zab Judah three years ago also was decided by split scorecards, acknowledges the opportunity of fighting in the large viewership expected of the Mayweather-Alvarez fight.
“It’s an honor to be in a fight on this big of a stage,” Matthysse said. “I know there’s going to be a lot of interest. I’m just happy so many people are going to see my style of fighting
Seth Mitchell avenged the only loss of his career in his previous fight. The heavyweight contender looks to make additional inroads toward a coveted title fight Saturday night. Mitchell (26-1-1, 19 KOs) will face former title contender Chris Arreola (35-3, 30 KOs) at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif.
Seven months after suffering a second-round TKO loss against Johnathon Banks, Mitchell won a unanimous decision in a direct rematch June 22.
Saturday’s bout will be Arreola’s first since losing a lopsided decision against Bermane Stiverne on April27.