Five keys for Lucas Matthysse
Plotting a path to victory in Saturday's 140-pound title bout with Danny Garcia
In one of the most anticipated bouts of 2013, hard-punching Lucas Matthysse will look to hand the first defeat to junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
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The battle between Matthysse (34-2 with 32 KOs), of Argentina, and the Philadelphia-born Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs) will have an extra bonus considering the winner could be in line to face Floyd Mayweather Jr. should he get past Canelo Alvarez in Saturday's main event.
Considered the favorite to win by knockout, Matthysse must abide by the following five keys in order to secure a victory:
|Just like against Lamont Peterson, Matthysse should occupy the center of the ring early, be aggressive and push Garcia against the ropes until finding the distance that will allow him to apply his combinations. Garcia's weaknesses should be exposed as long as Matthysse can keep the fight away from the center of the ring. If the Argentine gets Garcia to that position quickly, it will be an early win.|
Changes in the attack
|Garcia is a robotic sniper who aims and shoots, relying on his punching power. Given this situation, Matthysse should counter with a changing offensive. A left jab and a straight right are his usual beginners. But he must throw hard punches from different angles, use lateral movements to confuse his opponent and also try hooks to the midsection. Zab Judah gave Garcia trouble when he attacked him to the body.|
Before of anxiety and overconfidence
|Matthysse is a knockout artist who has ended fights early in 11 of his past 13 bouts. His power has enchanted the fans and has led him toward the podium next to the superstars, and he has only to finish Garcia to reach the top. His team overflows with optimism. However, the Argentine should avoid the excess of confidence and control the anxiety if the KO does not come as soon as he expects, which was exactly what happened against Ajose Olusegun -- he got sloppy and received unnecessary blows. Against Garcia, that same mistake could be trouble.|
Pay attention to the counterpunch
|Garcia fights from a relatively stationary position and that factor makes him very dangerous with his punching power. It is known that the force of impact gains power when the fighter is firm on his feet. Garcia has been known to end his opponents' nights early by countering with the left hand, as he did against Erik Morales and Amir Khan. Matthysse should not lose focus after releasing combinations. A single hit from Garcia while off balance could put him to sleep.|
At attention to the corner
|Matthysse's corner will have a lot of work ahead of it should the fight go the distance. The Argentine can't get distracted on defense and his team should be alert to the slightest sign. Preserving the battle plan is its job. But Matthysse's corner also has to know when the time is right to go to Plan B if the fight is prolonged.|