Matthysse Beats Molina In Fight of the Year Contender

BY Michael Woods ON April 26, 2014
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Machine-Matthysse 24b8b

John Molina came in the underdog against Lucas Matthysse in a junior lightweight tangle on Showtime, on Saturday night from the StubHub Center, but it looked like he'd exit with newfound respect, as he sent Matthysse down twice, in the second and fifth rounds.

But Matthysse stayed focused, and when Molina tired, The Machine picked it up. He sent Molina down in round ten, and if he had ten more seconds, that would have been it. Matthysse came out and looked to end it at the start of the 11th; he did, at 22 seconds elapsed in that round, Molina was all done.

The crowd, every one in the building got more than their money's worth from this one. They oohed and ahhed regularly.

Jim Gray spoke to both after. Matthysse said he knew he was still in it to win it after being knocked down. He lauded Molina as a really good boxer. Next? He would like a rematch with Danny Garcia. Molina said he'd like to fight Matthysse again, and called it a "helluva fight." He called it a "great notch" in his belt, and assured all that he was OK.

Matt went 275-573 to 104-392 for the loser. Matthysse was ahead on all three cards at the time of the stop, for the record.

Matthysse's buzz evaporated after Danny Garcia beat him, and he was looking to grab some of that acclaim back. The Argentine who had Richard Schaefer enthusing over him as a new Pacquiao after he obliterated Lamont Peterson a few months before Garcia bested him.

In the first, Molina moved to his left, into the Matt right. But he looked big, and had a reach advantage over Matt. A right hurt Matt, and Molina went after him. Matt collected himself and was bombing by the last part of the round.

In the second, we saw Matt looked to land rights to the body, but Molina moved well to avoid being tagged. He actually dropped Matt, via a right, at 35 seconds. The right came while Matt was backtracking lazily.

In the third, Matt tried to exert more pressure. He jabbed more, fought with more vigor. The clashed heads, and Matt's left eye was cut. The round was rugged, with a couple surly clinches erupting.

In the fourth, Matt's jab was working. Mo wanted to answer with his own stiff jab. But the Argentine woke up, and fought nasty and took the round.

In the fifth, a right to the body hurt Mo some. A right, however, sent Matthysse down, with under a minute left. It was from an illegal shot, behind the head.

In the sixth, Molina got nailed by an uppercut. But a right stunned Matt late. In the seventh, we saw that Al B and Danny Jacobs had Molina ahead, while Steve Farhood had it even. The men were toe to toe for most of the three minutes by this point. It looked like a cut opened on the left side of Molina's head by this point.

In the eighth, Matt double jabbed to set the table for himself. Caught on the ropes, Molina managed to avoid the full thrust of a Matt power launch. Down went Molina, though, from fatigue and a push, at 15 seconds remaining.

In the ninth, Matt was in Machine mode. He landed hooks on both sides of Molina's head, and a left hook on the jaw had the crowd crazed. Molina looked almost out on his feet, but grinned after eating a bomb. In the 10th, Matt bombed, Mo ate...and kept coming back for more. Then he went down, to a knee, after eating a load of shots, on the ropes. He was saved by the bell.

In the 11th, Matt basted him, down he went, and the ref halted it.

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Comment on this article

ultimoshogun says:

How can you not be romantic about boxing...great battle, that was some high drama in Molina's corner.

amayseng says:

Great back and forth battle between these two warriors tonight.

Like Brian Kenny said, just because you lost doesnt mean you fought a bad fight or didnt progress, and Molina did just that. He will soon get another good opportunity. LM just eventually broke him down, they call him the Machine for a reason, he is resilient.


Like I said last week, this card will be more entertaining that the 75$ ppv sparring event next week.

The Good Doctor says:

Molina seems to be a little bit better version of Katsidis. I look forward to see him scrap again.

DaveB says:

What a fight. It was artistic violence. I was trying to figure out how Matthysse generates so much power. He doesn't do anything special. Yes he has some torque on his punches and the velocity is good but nothing really special. But I saw it tonight. He is relentless. That is his specialty. I think every fighter at 140 can punch as hard as he does but he can throw those punches all night. It is like he is trying to break your legs with every punch. He has amazing stamina. Both guys need to fight other people. Too many fights between these two will be career shortening for both.

jzzy says:

Both fighters showed tremendous heart in an old school war. Lucas conditioning was the difference as he recovered each round and
stepped on the gas, both men were impressive. I think Molina's people should've stopped it in the corner before the last round, he took
needless punishment.

oubobcat says:

This was a great fight. I was absolutely amazed at how well Molina was able to take Matthysse's punches.

I think initially Matthysse thought he was going to roll over Molina. Matthysse got buzzed in the first and dropped in the second, which is when I think he woke up and realized this would be no push over. Once he started using his jab, he began to take control of the fight. Hopefully he learned a valuable lesson here.

This is the kind of fight where Molina's stock goes up in a losing effort and Matthysse's may go a little down despite the win. Because he can hurt anybody at any time with that right hand, Molina may have a tough time getting some of the other top Junior Welterweights in the ring with him. A match that I wouldn't mind seeing for Molina is a fight with Mauricio Herrera. It would be a very good and make able crossroads fight between two fighters who not a lot of others are going to want to enter the ring with anytime soon.

As for Matthysse, who knows? He wants a rematch with Danny Garcia but Garcia seems to be set up a final fight this summer at 140 and then heading up to Welterweight. Is Matthysse going to follow him up or will he stay at 140 and go after a vacated belt?

Shoulder Roll Defense says:

Lucas Matthysse may never be the same after Danny Garcia exposed him. Lets put last night's fight into proper perspective. Matthysse almost got beat by a "B" level fighter. Great scrap, but I will continue to argue that certain fighters are extremely lucky that there is a promotional cold war going on in boxing. Lucas Matthysse and Omar Figueroa would be fortunate to crack the top ten if they truly had to fight everyone. Terrance Crawford and Miguel Vasquez would thoroughly out box Figueroa. On the other hand, Matthysse is one dimensional and will always struggle with boxer-punchers. Now we also know that he also has a questionable chin.

ArneK. says:

An interesting day of boxing: A stinker in the matinee followed by a scorcher in the nightcap. Boxing has a way of coming off the mat, pardon the banality.

It's hardly a perfect comparison, but there were times that Matthysse reminded me of Arturo Gatti circa 1998.

ArneK. says:

An interesting day of boxing: A stinker in the matinee followed by a scorcher in the nightcap. Boxing has a way of coming off the mat, pardon the banality.

It's hardly a perfect comparison, but there were times that Matthysse reminded me of Arturo Gatti circa 1998.

deepwater2 says:

The machine needed a few rounds to get warmed up. Congrats to Lucas and Molina for a beautiful display of courage and brutality. What a contrast to the heavyweight encounter earlier in the day. Lucas vs boner? Lucas vs Garcia at 147? What did goosen flip out in the corner about? Did the dr touch him inappropriately? I thought Omar F lost . That 118-110 card was a disgrace. Some judges just like to help certain promoters so they can get some prestige. That blind judge should be made to explain every round he scored in front of the commission . Also al Bernstein and Farhood were very good but that other announcer is too annoying . Thurman did what he had to do . Diaz is past his due date. Sam Watson getting his face in view of the camera and making fish faces should be banned by the FCC .

amayseng says:

Lucas Matthysse may never be the same after Danny Garcia exposed him. Lets put last night's fight into proper perspective. Matthysse almost got beat by a "B" level fighter. Great scrap, but I will continue to argue that certain fighters are extremely lucky that there is a promotional cold war going on in boxing. Lucas Matthysse and Omar Figueroa would be fortunate to crack the top ten if they truly had to fight everyone. Terrance Crawford and Miguel Vasquez would thoroughly out box Figueroa. On the other hand, Matthysse is one dimensional and will always struggle with boxer-punchers. Now we also know that he also has a questionable chin.


I have to disagree completely. First, Lucas was winning the Garcia fight before getting caught with an accidental yet illegal elbow from Garcia which ballooned his eye up in a matter of seconds. The disrupted vision completely changed the fight. Garcia did well to step up and win but that win is contested in the fact that an elbow caused the damage which lead to a loss for Lucas.

Secondly, Lucas is far from one dimensional, in the Molina fight Lucas made adjustments from banging to boxing off of his jab which he used to not only set up his right hand, but to create space defensively and stagger the timing of Molina. Lucas also adjusted to following the jab right hand with a left body hook.

There is a lot to the sweet science when you truly look to study a fighter and his tendencies and adjustments.

oubobcat says:

Lucas is still fighting at a very high level. He has better boxing skills than he is given credit, just doesn't always use them. In the Molina fight, he thought he'd get Molina out of there early and got in a little bit of trouble when he was just trying for the KO. When he settled down and started using his jab to set up his left hook he was very effective. He is not a one dimensional fighter by any means.

Matthysse was winning the Garcia fight until his eye swelled up. This is boxing and those things do happen. He unquestionably got out of his game plan when the eye swelled up. That is something I am sure he has learned from and that experience will help him as his career continues. At 140, he is only behind Danny Garcia and if Garcia moves up then Matthysse is the man at 140.

Shoulder Roll Defense says:

Lucas seems to be bewildered by a fighter that can not only stand up to his power, but can also box. Don't make excuses for him, he got out boxed by Garcia. According to many of the boxing pundits, he was supposed to walk through Danny. Please stop with the excuses.

John Molina can crack, but is far from a polished boxer. The fact that he was so easily able to touch Lucas up was disturbing. Lucas is one dimensional in that I think he can only fight coming forward. He used his jab more this fight, but can he fight off his back foot? Can he set traps? He is fine when he gets off first, but has limited countering ability. He is no "machine" and better stay in the jr. welterweight division because there are some boys in the welterweight division that would clown him. Heck, I would put my money on Terrance Crawford if he went up 5 pounds and fought as a jr. welterweight like he did against Bredis Prescott.

admin says:

Deep, time for some lobbying action? On what grounds can we make a plea to the FCC? Is Watson obscene?? haha ---EM

The machine needed a few rounds to get warmed up. Congrats to Lucas and Molina for a beautiful display of courage and brutality. What a contrast to the heavyweight encounter earlier in the day. Lucas vs boner? Lucas vs Garcia at 147? What did goosen flip out in the corner about? Did the dr touch him inappropriately? I thought Omar F lost . That 118-110 card was a disgrace. Some judges just like to help certain promoters so they can get some prestige. That blind judge should be made to explain every round he scored in front of the commission . Also al Bernstein and Farhood were very good but that other announcer is too annoying . Thurman did what he had to do . Diaz is past his due date. Sam Watson getting his face in view of the camera and making fish faces should be banned by the FCC .

King Beef says:

Lucas Matthysse may never be the same after Danny Garcia exposed him. Lets put last night's fight into proper perspective. Matthysse almost got beat by a "B" level fighter. Great scrap, but I will continue to argue that certain fighters are extremely lucky that there is a promotional cold war going on in boxing. Lucas Matthysse and Omar Figueroa would be fortunate to crack the top ten if they truly had to fight everyone. Terrance Crawford and Miguel Vasquez would thoroughly out box Figueroa. On the other hand, Matthysse is one dimensional and will always struggle with boxer-punchers. Now we also know that he also has a questionable chin.


I don't know about exposed, but i think he definitely lost some that monster/ boogeyman aura he had before. Not so sure about him or Danny at 147 anymore.

oubobcat says:

If Matthysse has lost some of his aura, that may not be a bad thing for him. He may be able to get some foes who may have hesitated in the past to get in the ring with him.

Personally, I don't think this is about what Matthysse didn't do. I think we as fans and observers of the sport (myself included) completely underestimated Molina and his abilities inside the ring. Molina is a much better fighter than he was given credit for entering the fight and this is more about what Molina did than what Matthysse didn't do.

Molina proved the Demarco fight was in fact aberration. He also proved he has a much better chin than anyone gave him credit. We all knew he had a big right hand but there was question as to how his power would carry at 140. Well, it carried just fine.

Molina will give any at 140 a tough time. He is rugged, has a good chin and carries one massive right hand that could end things at a moments notice. That right hand will give anyone he fights reason to have to adjust for it in their game plan. Matthysse made an adjustment (very smart adjustment) to use his jab and stay on the outside more out of range from Molina's right hand. Thus, he didn't blow through Molina like a lot of us thought but he did break down a very good and dangerous opponent over the course of the fight.

brownsugar says:

Good fight but it seemed like the announcers were trying,....by the sheer force of their will to summon forth a come-from- behind victory from the underdog.
Mattysse outlanded Molina 3 to 1... He coped well with getting floored and proceeded to pummell Molina from bell to bell.
The announcers were calling Molina ahead in the fight as late as the tenth round.
There was no need for Bernstein and company to create any additional drama, the fight was entertaining enough without exaggerating Molina's chances.
When the Machine fired up his afterburners and retro rockets in the 5th , you could see the mothership had landed......the outcome was never in doubt.
The only variable was how long would Molina last?
A whole committee of officials were in his corner a round before the end... They could have halted the slaughter then.

People always complain about Watson...but he's only in the ring for a few minutes after the fight to celebrate with his winner.. The guy doesn't even get a microphone. By that time there's over a dozen people milling about... I don't understand it. Doesn't bother me because I know very little about him... Just amazes me that he gets so much negative focus and feedback when he's hardly seen for the majority of the program.

I'm surprised Bernie Campbell hasn't complained yet.

Thurman was amazing... He Can fight backing up, even while under intense fire...sure he gets tagged from time to time...all fighters do...but he always gets the critical hits in, especially during the most chaotic moments of the fight....and he talks a good game after the fight.

Figueroa...needs to go back and finish high school...lol...he's going to be in trouble when they put a boxer in front of him. Otherwise fun to watch when he's evenly matched...but limited.

Skibbz says:

What a fight. It was artistic violence. I was trying to figure out how Matthysse generates so much power. He doesn't do anything special. Yes he has some torque on his punches and the velocity is good but nothing really special. But I saw it tonight. He is relentless. That is his specialty. I think every fighter at 140 can punch as hard as he does but he can throw those punches all night. It is like he is trying to break your legs with every punch. He has amazing stamina. Both guys need to fight other people. Too many fights between these two will be career shortening for both.


Him coming in at 157 helps, but I wonder how easy he makes 140. He gets dropped by shots that really shouldn't be putting him on canvas.. He's got good power.. but KOing 20-30 cans and journeymen doesn't mean your lethal. Too many times people think because he can crush 30 cans he's got a hard thump..

Finally got a chance to watch this, I had it 93-93 by the end of 10. It was the right time to stop it though I don't see how he could have turned the tide had he gotten up.

But Matthysse's book is out.. It was out there but now Molina proved it. Something like Khan and the left hook. If the right competition faces Matthysse and slams a right when Lucas overcommits... it'll be lights out. And if it's at 140 I wouldn't be surprised if he gets put away before 6. Molina had his number from the first and Matthysse knew it.. But he fought on nonetheless and took the TKO win. I wonder how they'll match him up next..

oubobcat says:

Him coming in at 157 helps, but I wonder how easy he makes 140. He gets dropped by shots that really shouldn't be putting him on canvas.. He's got good power.. but KOing 20-30 cans and journeymen doesn't mean your lethal. Too many times people think because he can crush 30 cans he's got a hard thump..

Finally got a chance to watch this, I had it 93-93 by the end of 10. It was the right time to stop it though I don't see how he could have turned the tide had he gotten up.

But Matthysse's book is out.. It was out there but now Molina proved it. Something like Khan and the left hook. If the right competition faces Matthysse and slams a right when Lucas overcommits... it'll be lights out. And if it's at 140 I wouldn't be surprised if he gets put away before 6. Molina had his number from the first and Matthysse knew it.. But he fought on nonetheless and took the TKO win. I wonder how they'll match him up next..


I have been wondering myself where Matthysse goes from here. I don't think Danny Garcia has any interest in a rematch or that Matthysse has any interest in a rematch with John Molina.

One possibility may be Mauricio Herrera. Matthysse would be motivated to beat him in a more convincing fashion than Danny Garcia and maybe try to drum up an eventual rematch. Another is Zab Judah rematch who I believe was at the Matthysse-Molina fight and if he is still pursuing a professional career may see Matthysse as a little more vulnerable now.

I have also always said a fight with Marcos Maidana is inevitable at some point. If Maidana loses on Saturday, maybe Golden Boy pushes to make that fight sooner rather than later.

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