On Saturday, April 26, 2014, the 5’6½ inch, #1 ranked welterweight, Lucas “La Máquina” Matthysse rose up from the ashes, a victim of two early knockdowns, one in the second round, another in the fifth, to eventually out trump the 5’10½ inch John Molina with three knockdowns of his own on his way to an 11th round stoppage at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA.
Matthysse dropped Molina once each in the 8th, 10th and 11th rounds before referee Pat Russell finally waved an end to a contest that had most patrons on the edge of their seats from start to finish.
Even though Matthysse was the busier and more accurate of the two, you always had this feeling Molina could still pull out a late victory. How so? Reputation. The Covina, CA native entered this contest after knocking out his two previous opponents, the unbeaten Mickey Bey and veteran Jorge Pimentel.
In summation, Matthysse, the better schooled boxer, held an advantage in punches thrown 276-to-104, power shots 204-to-86, and jabs 71-18. With his win, the 31-year-old from Junin, Buenos Aires, Argentina, improves his record to 35 wins with 3 losses and 33 knockouts. Molina’s record drops to 27 wins with 4 losses and 22 KOs.
After establishing a record of 4 wins, 3 losses, and 4 KOs, against six current or former titleholders, having floored all of them, Matthysse is without a doubt a real crowd pleaser.
The most telling rounds
Round 2. Molina dropped Matthysse with a solid overhand right to the temple with 26 seconds left in the round. This was only the second time in Matthysse’s career that someone has knocked him off his feet. He then held on to get out of the round.
Round 3. Matthysse looked sharp and landed both to the head and body while Molina appeared to be waiting for another opportunity to land that big punch. Then came a clash of heads and Matthysse started bleeding from the resulting cut over his left eye.
Round 5. Matthysse became the victim of another overhand right, this one nailing him behind the head, and he went down. The round ended with both boxers blasting away in a neutral corner.
Round 6. Matthysse continued to carry the action and had a sizable advantage in power shots of 63-31 over the first five rounds. Still, another hard right by Molina at the close of round six appeared to hurt Matthysee.
Round 7 was another hotly contested round with Matthysse landing the majority of the cleaner shots.
Round 8. Matthysse had Molina cornered against the ropes and kept pounding away. A hard right followed by a doubling up of the jab preceded this devastating left uppercut that dropped Molina. A true warrior, Molina somehow survived this onslaught and finished the round.
Round 9. Once again, Matthysse dominated and appeared much peppier in comparison to the now lumbering Molina.
Round 10. The beat down continued until Molina finally went down. Back up at the count of seven, the resilient Molina survived the round which at one point consisted of 14 unanswered blows.
Round 11. With both the referee and fight doctor close to stopping the match between rounds, the end came just 22 seconds into round 11, just moments after Molina went down from another solid right. At this point, it appeared Molina had no chance of continuing and the bout was justifiably stopped.
With all the excitement surrounding the Matthysse/Molina fight, it’s as if the other matches didn’t even exist. The Main Event, which featured the unbeaten WBA Interim Welterweight Champ Keith “One Time” Thurman (23-0, 21 KOs) of Clearwater, Fla., ended early with a third-round TKO of the former world champion Julio “The Kidd” Diaz (40-10-1, 29 KOs) of Coachella, Ca. After getting hit with a body shot in round three, Diaz, upon the advice of his corner, stayed on his stool and did not come out for the fourth round.
Next, you had the undefeated Omar “Panterita” Figueroa successfully defending his WBC lightweight crown in a ho-hum 12-round split decision bout over a former rival in the Amateur ranks, Jerry Belmontes.
After losing all five of his amateur bouts against Belmontes, Figueroa (23-0-1, 17 KOs) of Weslaco, Texas, got his revenge in his first world title defense, outpointing Belmontes (19-4, 5 KOs), of Corpus Christi, Texas, by scores of 118-110, 116-112 and 113-115.
In the featured match on Showtime Extreme, world-ranked junior middleweight Jermall Charlo (18-0, 14 KOs), of Houston, had a relatively easy time dfeating Albuquerque’s Hector Munoz (22-13-1, 14 KOs) en route to a fourth-round TKO. With Munoz's record being 4-12-1 over the past six years, it's difficult to get excited about this win.
Undefeated Joseph Diaz Jr. (10-0, 7 KOs) won all six rounds in his decision victory over veteran Luis Maldonado (38-12-1, 29 KOs) of Calexico, CA, and unbeaten super welterweight Terrell Gausha of Cleveland improved to (9-0-0, 5 KOs) with an eight-round shutout over Charles Whittaker (40-15-2), of Winter Haven, Fla.
Note well: The Showtime Championship Boxing triple header will re-air on Tuesday, April 29th, at 10 p.m.