Thurman Wins Over Diaz, Matthysse vs Molina A WAR
CARSON, CA –
With action stopped in round three due to injury, Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman defeated Julio Diaz to retain the WBA interim welterweight championship belt.
Faster and stronger, Thurman took control early connecting with left hooks early in round one. Taking the fight downstairs in round two, Thurman displayed superior hand speed that left Diaz struggling to find an answer. With less than twenty seconds left in round two, Diaz took the knee after a late reaction to sweeping headshot. In what would be the final round of the fight, Diaz had his best moment when he launched a straight right that momentarily stung Thurman and gave way to a three-punch combination upstairs. Although it connected, it did nothing to stop the Thurman onslaught. Thurman continued to launch landing a phantom blow to the body that left Diaz struggling. After conferring with his corner, Diaz failed to answer to call of the bell to start the forth citing a rib injury.
An anti-climatic end but another victory for Thurman.
In what was easily the fight of the night, Lucas Matthysse returned to the ring and defeated John Molina by unanimous decision.
If John Molina was the underdog in this bout, someone forgot to tell him. Matthysse lobbed jabs early to test the air and Molina came roaring with big overhand rights that pushed Matthysse back on his heels. Not folding under the pressure, Matthysee regrouped and connected with repeated left hooks. Using his side advantage, Molina continued to pepper Matthysee with over hand rights while Matthysee moved his assault to the body. With 30 seconds remaining in round two, Matthysse found himself on the canvas courtesy of a overhand right from Molina.
Adjusting his strategy, Matthysee emerged in the middle rounds working off a jab that was absent in the early rounds. After suffering a cut, from what the ring official ruled as an accidental head butt in round three, Matthysse appeared to come alive. Molina, still very much in the fight suffered his own cut behind the ear that sent blood streaming down his back like stripes. Fighting toe-to-toe in the center of the ring, Matthysse and Molina swung for rafters much to the fans jubilation. Settling into rhythm, Matthysse began to regain the momentum he lost in the early rounds. But As quick as the dominance came, Molina was right there to put an end to it. Working off a lazy jab, Molina dropped Matthysse a second time in the fifth round.
(re-watching the broadcast at home, the knockdown appeared to be the result of a rabbit punch)
The longer the fight went on, the bloodier and more brutal it became. Matthysse regrouped and took clear control of the action. After raining down the pain in the eight round, Molina drop to the canvas with less than twenty seconds remaining by way of a straight right hand and what appeared to be a push from Matthysse.
The championship rounds began right where the eight left off with Matthysse dishing out blow after blow and Molina displaying a lion’s heart and an iron chin. Despite the battery of blows, Molina continued to come forward and throw shots that were largely ineffective against The Machine. At the end of round ten, Matthysse continued to batter with Molina taking the knee in the corner. Asked by referee Pat Russell if could continue and he did to survive the round. The end would come in round eleven. A battered, bloody Molina collapsed in the corner after being punished by a final combination of blows. Matthysse wins by KO.
Leading off the broadcast, Omar Figueroa retained the WBC lightweight title by defeating the ‘Corpus Christi Kid’ Jerry Belmontes by split decision.
Making his first defense of the title since a hand injury induced long lay-off, Figueroa appeared off balance and slow to get started as action commenced. Belmontes initiated fight action early by connecting with combinations that visibly shook the champion. During the middle rounds, Figueroa dictated action by moving in and fighting in close quarters and connecting against Belmontes with volume punching. As the closely contest bout cruised toward an ending, the judges found themselves split in their decision. Judges final scores 115-113 (B) 116-112 (F) 118 – 110 (F).
118-110? I’m not sure about that one.