Many expected a mismatch, others expected a bombs away fight where one man was able to overpower the other convincingly. We got the latter, but it took Lucas Matthysse over 10 rounds to finally stop John Molina tonight on Showtime, as the two warriors engaged in a bloody battle that has to be considered the clubhouse leader for Fight of the Year.
Molina put Matthysse down in rounds two and five, but Matthysse came back strong, dropping Molina in the eighth and tenth rounds. One knockdown on both sides was questionable, as the fifth round knockdown of Matthysse was a shot that landed more to the back of the head, while Matthysse's eighth round flooring of Molina was clearly more of a shove than a punch.
But what really matters is the war. These two fighters came out looking for the knockout, as it was assumed they would, and both of them showed heavy hands, a ton of grit, and some serious chins, taking bombs from one another and staying in there, looking for more. Matthysse was cut in round three due to an accidental clash of heads, with a nasty little gash over his left eye. But for pure ugliness, the huge cut behind John Molina's left ear -- looking like an exit wound from a gunshot as the fight went on -- stole the show for the gore lovers out there.
At the end of the 10th round, with Matthysse (35-2, 33 KO) pouring on heavy pressure after scoring his legitimate knockdown, there was some chaos in the corner of Molina (27-4, 22 KO), as trainer Joe Goossen tried to block the physician from doing his job, maybe not knowing that it was the physician, as referee Pat Russell had to restrain Goossen and explain that it was, indeed, the fight doctor.
Russell then told Molina that he was on doctor's orders to not let him take further punishment, leading to Goossen telling Molina, "You better start swingin'."
Molina was dropped early in round 11, though, and hard, and Russell made the right call to end the fight there. It was a fantastic display of savagery and desire from two guys looking to steal the show and win impressively. Both of them gave everything they had.
Official judges' cards at the time of stoppage were 94-92, 95-91, and 97-90 for Matthysse. Showtime's unofficial scores were 96-91 (Al Bernstein), 96-90 (Steve Farhood), and 94-92 (Daniel Jacobs), all for Matthysse. BLH had it 94-92 for Matthysse.