“I was Scarface and Jay was Manolo, it hurt me when I had to kill him- and his whole squad for dolo.”
Nas. Circa 2002
They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, but sometimes a few words can produce 1000 pictures. They are afterall, responsible for imagination that becomes a film, and then subsequently, captures our imagination.
No urban gangster movie did this better than Oliver Stone’s 1983 cult classic: Scarface
It’s rather curious though, the selection of words from word maestro Nas. For a few short years later, there he was on one knee in front of Jay-Z in the plush offices of Def Jam. He surrendered his bravado, and at least contractually and commercially, he was vanquished.
So if he was Scarface and Jay was Manolo, then that means Manolo and his whole crew came back and had a sit down with Tony Montana, who was full of himself.
I thought it was interesting watching the smug demeanor of Danny Garcia as he confronted Lucas Matthysse in their face-off recently. Danny does not lack for confidence, has a pronounced swagger, and a bunch of skills in his pocket like so many nickels and dimes.
Danny’s “nice” as we say in the streets.
He’s also the defending WBC/WBA and Ring Magazine super lightweight champion perceived as lesser than his subordinate in his mind. Tony Montana would never fathom the idea of Manny Ribera or “Manolo” as being better than him.
But he also would have to consider dealing with Manolo after the death of his sister- that he’s responsible for. He loved her more than life itself, and would do anything to protect her.
I believe Lucas Matthysse became an infinitely better fighter after razor-thin losses to Devon Alexander and Zab Judah, and I am more than sure he would destroy both of them today.
So what happens when Danny Garcia (Tony) and Lucas Matthysse (Manolo) square off in the hottest undercard fight in recent memory?
I think you know the answer, but let’s find out how it happens.
Garcia vs. Matthysse
Nas is deeper in his vocabulary than is Jay-Z. He’s way more intricate and complex in his delivery, and exhibits more substance. He’s capable of reducing Jay-Z, and can put him together with style. But Jay’s great equalizer is the “Hit”- or big punch if you will. Nas cannot come close to matching that difference between them; he knocks him out every day of the week in this category. Plus his voice will always resonate in a way that Nas simply can’t match.
If hype is cocaine, then Danny Garcia’s father Angel sniffs a lot of it like its dust. The vitriol he dispenses with such malice is almost alarming. Matthysse has quietly simmered through all of this, and I believe his ability to “hit” with such force and velocity will be the difference in this fight. He will be a very big super lightweight come Saturday night, with far more polish than the Garcia camp realizes.
Danny is the better technical boxer and has an underrated grit and resolve. He believes he is every bit the big puncher that Matthysse is and will look to prove this point. He is Philadelphia tough through and through, and thinks he’s seen some holes in the Matthysse attack he can exploit.
But he’s gotta walk through fire to do it.
Lucas is not a wild swinging, crude brawler with a limited technical skill set, and he’s turned into an “A” grade fighter, not the B- level fighter who lost to a then “B+” Zab Judah. Plus Judah was merely a B- version of himself against Garcia in April. The pressure Matthysse applies, like Jay-Z’s voice over that of Nas, will resonate loudly.
Firmly in his prime and primed to give Garcia a beating, Matthysse will do just that, while walking through the considerable rain of Garcia without an umbrella.
But when the white towels come flying into the ring in the 10th round to save and protect a battered Danny Garcia, they’ll come long after he’s wiped the smile off of Angel’s face.