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Garcia vs Matthysse: Preview, picks, and predictions from the BLH staff

Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse meet tomorrow night on Showtime pay-per-view, in a fight nearly as highly-anticipated as the main event. Can Garcia prove the skeptics wrong again, or will Matthysse barrel toward a pay-per-view main event of his own?

Al Bello

Scott Christ

This fight is extra interesting to me because I honestly believe we find out a lot about both of these fighters with this matchup. Garcia has beaten the odds before, and keeps winning fights against guys who are supposed to be too experienced, or too fast, or too cagey, or whatever. Matthysse is now "too strong" for Garcia, and the odds are once again against the undefeated, two-body titleholder at 140 pounds, who has seen his undisputed status as the best 140-pound fighter in the world slip away as Matthysse has hammered his way through Mike Dallas Jr and Lamont Peterson this year.

If Matthysse is what he's being hyped to be, he will treat Garcia much the same as he did Peterson. It's not really a question of whether or not Garcia has a better chin; the shots Matthysse landed on Peterson would have put down anyone at 140 and probably 147, too. He's a very strong puncher, and Garcia has admitted that there is a lot of consideration being put into that, saying the plan is to take away his power. Garcia is a good, well-rounded fighter. He's a solid puncher himself, he's a decent boxer, his defense is fine, his technique isn't bad. But can he hold off and outbox Matthysse for 12 rounds? I don't think so. Can he knock Matthysse out with a great shot or big barrage? Yes, that I think he can do, and Matthysse's not exactly the most cautious guy in the world, either. If Garcia's going to win, I think he'll do it by stoppage. If Matthysse's going to win, I think he'll do it by stoppage, too. This fight's not going 12 rounds. The styles and the power just don't suggest that it should. I'm rolling with the "Machine." If I'm wrong about this one, then Danny Garcia is a top pound-for-pound contender. Matthysse TKO-7.

Fraser Coffeen, Bloody Elbow

This is a great fight, but I also see it as a very bad stylistic match-up for Garcia. Garcia has decent power and has shown an ability to stop a fight, but his power comes more from his combinations than single well executed shots. That's in contrast to Matthysse, who can land one perfect bomb and completely turn the fight around. And that's a bad pairing for the combo fighter. Every time Garcia throws those combos, dropping his hands and leaving his chin exposed, he gives Matthysse another opening and another target for that KO blast. It won't take him long to find a home for it. Matthysse KO-3.

Tom Craze

While Garcia's one of those guys who's difficult to oppose, this is - for the first time since the Khan fight - the time to do so, I think. Wheeling out the usual adjectives about Garcia - gritty, resilient, determined, etc. - is all well and good, and they apply to the Philadelphian here as much as they ever did, but the hunch is that he's, finally, in too deep.

Matthysse, too, has shown us his own fortitude, regrouping after that dubious decision loss to Devon Alexander, and subsequently deciding to look more like a force of nature than anything else upon embarking on his own personal mission to clear the 140lb division of deadwood. Make no mistake, this is a slight step up for him too (although there's more of an argument to say that he had the tougher assignment of the two men last time out), but from here it looks like it's the Argentinian who's holding the aces. I think he's technically the better boxer, and a very underrated one at that, and while Garcia can crack, it goes without saying that Matthysse has a considerable edge in power.

I don't see this being cagey, and I don't see it lasting long. Garcia loves a fight too much to stay away from any kind of early-round tear-up, and it doesn't take much too imagine those wide hooks of his leaving him wide open for a Matthysse onslaught, in what will almost certainly be the fight of the night. Matthysse KO-5.

Andrew Fruman

Matthysse's power and underrated skills should be too much in this one. The Argentinean hits hard with both hands, cut the ring off well, and doesn't forgot to work the body. A quick and rangy opponent with good footwork might have the stuff to befuddle him, but Garcia isn't that guy. That said, Garcia's sturdy chin, and willingness to stand in and counter with big hooks will give him a puncher's chance. Matthysse TKO-9.

Eddie Gonzalez

It's been five years since a Lucas Matthysse opponent finished a fight with him without tasting the canvas at least once. In his two disputed losses, both to quick southpaws who did their best to box and not fight, both opponents were knocked down. Danny Garcia is neither southpaw nor quick, and has a way of getting hit more than he should. Although Danny has proven himself to be a world class talent, he doesn't have any distinct advantage in this fight, and unless his father and mouthpiece Angel has cooked up an excellent game plan, Danny will at some point be forced to stand up to Matthysse's power. He may not wilt initially, but wilt he will. Lucas Matthysse will ask for, and deserve, a fight with Floyd that he will never get after this, but he will be tough to avoid for everybody else. I expect Danny to fight valiantly but in the end this probably looks like a more competitive Canelo vs Josesito Lopez. Matthysse KO-9.

Steve Janoski

It's an intriguing undercard fight that is a main event all its own for boxing fans: the wild Argentinean bull Lucas Matthysse against Danny Garcia, the gritty boxer/puncher from North Philly. Garcia isn't slick enough to counter and move the way you need to against a fighter like Matthysse, and he'll probably want to trade anyway, which will be his downfall. I expect Matthysse's heavy hands to wear Garcia down, and the Argentinean will win by spectacular knockout sometime in the late rounds. Matthysse by KO.

Kory Kitchen

Try as I may, I am unable to envision a scenario where Danny Garcia is able to hold off Lucas Matthysse for 12 rounds. In order to handle a ruthless beast like "The Machine" one has to either be an ultra-slick defensive specialist or a fellow brawler who has the power and temperament to attempt to back him up. Garcia has proven to not be the former and I have doubts that he will turn out to be the latter.

Nevertheless, I still expect it to be a sizzling fight and Garcia will have a few moments. He's a bigger puncher than Lamont Peterson, Zab Judah, or Devon Alexander, Matthysse's best opposition to this date. Matthysse knows this and will give Garcia a pinch more respect than he typically does. The early rounds will consist of Garcia on the outside, jabbing and throwing the occasional straight right to keep Matthysse honest. It's not out of the question that he catches Matthysse leaning (his worst habit) and hurts him with one of those rights. But, as the fight wears on, Matthysse will gain steam and Garcia's legs will tire. Matthysse will begin to cut off the ring and land more frequently, signaling the end of Garcia's championship reign in the middle rounds as the referee is forced to intervene. Matthysse TKO-8.

Matt "Ban-Man" Miller

Garcia absolutely will not take away Matthysse's power, contrary to claims. He will box cautiously and stay out of trouble early, but the Argentinean's power will be waiting. Eventually Garcia will realize he has to step it up. Within six, it will turn into a fire fight, with Garcia's corner screaming at him to box according to the plan. He won't, and he's going to get KTFO by the machine in the fifth or sixth. Matthysse TKO-5 or 6.

Dave Oakes

This is a mouthwatering bout and could well be the fight of the night. It's no secret that Matthysse punches with serious power but people shouldn't underestimate Garcia's punch power, especially with the check left hook - a punch which he times so beautifully.

When the fight was first made I thought Matthysse would win quite convincingly by knockout, as time has gone on I've started to think Garcia has a much better chance than I first thought. There's no doubt that Matthysse will level Garcia if he can keep landing clean, it's whether or not Garcia leaves the openings for the Argentine to take advantage of.

Garcia's not what you'd call a slick stylist, he is, however, a much better technician than he's given credit for. People tend to look at how Khan was outboxing Garcia in the opening couple of rounds and come to the conclusion that Garcia isn't the most skilful of fighters. In my opinion that's a harsh assessment, for all of his faults, Khan has/had the speed and ability to outbox a lot of opponents.

It will take a hell of a performance from Garcia to beat Matthysse, it's certainly not out of the question though. If the fight becomes a brawl, which is quite likely, I can see Matthysse stopping a brave and bloody Garcia around the fifth round. If Garcia can box sensibly and keep to a strict game plan, I wouldn't be surprised to see him win on points or via a late stoppage.

I've gone back and forth on this. I believe Garcia has the edge in ability, although my gut instinct tells me he'll get drawn into a battle at some point, which will suit Matthysse. Decisions, decisions. I'll go with gut instinct and say Garcia will come off second best in a toe to toe affair, although I may put a shilling or two on him with the bookies offering an attractive 2/1. Matthysse KO-5.

Final Tally: Lucas Matthysse 9, Danny Garcia 0.

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