RING junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia will put his undefeated record, WBA and WBC belts on the line against RING No. 1-rated Lucas Matthysse on the undercard of the Sept. 14, Showtime Pay Per View-televised clash between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Canelo Alvarez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer announced during a national conference call on Thursday.
“Yes, it’s done. Yes, Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia versus Lucas ‘The Machine’ Matthysse will happen, and yes it will happen on Sept. 14 as part of ‘The One,'” said Schaefer, adding, “‘The One’ just got another one,” after opening the call by apologizing to the nearly 100 media members for ducking their numerous e-mails, texts and phone calls while he was attempting to get the deal done.
“It is a big announcement, and I’m happy that you are a part of it. First of all, I want to apologize to all media members if I did not return calls in the past few days. I really want to treat people fair, and I realize in this day and age, everyone wants to break a story and wants to be the first one on Twitter to tweet out breaking news, and I feel bad that I can not always give everyone the scoop, but today, I want to give everyone the scoop at the same time, because I appreciate all of your hard work and commitment to the sport.”
Matthysse, 30, has won six straight fights, all by knockout, and has not lost since falling to current IBF welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander by disputed split-decision in June of 2011.
In his last fight, Matthysse scored three knockdowns during a non-title third-round stoppage of IBF 140-pound beltholder Lamont Peterson, who was knocked out for the first time in his career to end an unbeaten streak of 4-0-1 with three knockouts.
Matthysse’s other loss was by by split-decision to Zab Judah, whom Garcia dropped in the eighth round of a unanimous-decision victory in April.
“Floyd made it very clear that he wanted to give to the fans the biggest and the best fights on his card possible, and with this fight being made, Garcia versus Matthysse, this going to be a tremendous card. This fight is a main event alone, and it has ‘Fight of The Year’ written all over it. It’s just another example of how Floyd has put the sport on his back,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions.
“And he’s trying to bring an awareness to the sport with this fight getting the world wide platform that it truly deserves, and in my eyes, this is just another step in the right direction of making boxing a main stream sport. You have Lucas Matthysse who is running everybody out of the ring. Nobody wants to fight him, but Danny Garcia stepped up and said, ‘I want to be the one to beat this guy.’ Matthysse has tremendous punching power, but we must not forget, Danny Garcia can punch with either hand.”
For Garcia, Judah represented his sixth consecutive fight against a current or former world titleholder, following up his consecutive fourth-round stoppages over two-division beltwinner Amir Khan and four-division titlewinner Erik Morales last year.
“These are two modern day Gladiators. All of these people who wrote that Danny Was scared of Lucas,” said Schaefer. “Well, you just have a lot of egg on your face. Danny Garcia is never scared of anyone. He wanted that fight more than any other fight.”
“I’m excited to show the world why I am the best 140lb fighter in the world,” said Garcia. “Sept 14 it’s on.”
The clash between Mayweather, THE RING’s No. 1-rated pound-for-pound fighter, and Alvarez already was a sold-out show less than 24 hours after tickets went on sale.
The addition of Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs) and Matthysse (34-2, 32 KOs) could push the event beyond the all-time record for pay-per-view purchases that is currently held by Mayweather’s 2007 win over Oscar De La Hoya, which garnered 2.5 million buys.
Mayweather-Alvarez apparently has eclipsed the mark of $18,419,200 by Mayweather-De La Hoya, according to Schaefer.
“The gate will be setting a new record, and we already announced that, and I can be a little bit more precise now as it relates to the number. It’s going to be over $19.5 million, shattering the record of the Floyd versus Oscar fight, not just breaking it, but, yes, shattering it,” said Schaefer.
“We setting new sponsor records. We have already seven confirmed sponsors, and we’re setting new sales records, approximately 40 percent ahead of De La Hoya versus Floyd. We’re setting new closed circuit records…The pay per view industry has embraced this fight like no other event before, and I’m not just saying fight, I’m saying, event.”
The winner of Garcia-Matthysse might be a candidate to face Mayweather, who is the RING and WBC welterweight champion.
A press tour, to include New York, Los Angeles and Puerto Rico, is scheduled for later this month and perhaps early into August.
“This is, without a doubt, a thank you — write that in capitol letters — a THANK You — to the fight fans and an attempt to bring new fans to the sport,” said Schaefer, “and to show the world how great our sport of boxing is. We firmly deserved that the fans deserve these kinds of cards.”
Photo by Al Bello, Getty Images
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]