Garcia-Matthysse on Sept. 14 card?
July, 18, 2013
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com
Elsa/Getty ImagesDanny Garcia, right, is close to being matched with Lucas Matthysse on an enormous Sept. 14 card.
One of the most anticipated fights in boxing is a showdown between top junior welterweights Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse, a matchup that has been in the works since Matthysse destroyed Lamont Peterson in three rounds in May while a stunned Garcia watched from ringside.
Now it appears that not only will the fight happen, but that we will get it as the co-feature on the Sept. 14 Showtime PPV card headlined by the biggest fight of the year -- pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. taking on Canelo Alvarez in a junior middleweight unification fight.
On Wednesday, Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer scheduled a Thursday afternoon media teleconference "to make a major fight announcement."
The immediate speculation was that it would be to announce that Garcia-Matthysse was not only made but that it would be on the Mayweather-Alvarez undercard. According to two sources involved in the promotion, that is exactly what the call is about, both told me Thursday morning.
It doesn't come as a huge surprise, if that indeed is what the call turns out to be for, even though the initial target date for Garcia-Matthysse was Sept. 7. Schaefer has told me numerous times in recent weeks that his aim was to not only get the fight done but to figure out a way to add the very expensive bout to the undercard to make it a truly special show.
If Schaefer -- who didn't return messages seeking comment -- has gotten this deal done, it gives the Mayweather-Alvarez pay-per-view two A-plus fights and makes the card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas one of the most can't-miss pay-per-views in history.
Garcia-Matthysse is a fight that, in virtually any other circumstance, would headline its own major Showtime card. Although the fight probably won't get as much attention as it would have on its own, the tradeoff should be worth it for the fighters, who still will earn major seven-figure paydays.
By appearing on Mayweather's undercard, the winner of Garcia-Matthysse -- assuming it's a crowd-pleasing fight (and how could it not be?) -- will create buzz as the obvious next opponent for Mayweather, who undoubtedly will return to the welterweight division (where he also has a title) after facing Alvarez. The Garcia-Matthysse winner will have done all that he can at junior welterweight, will be the recognized champion at 140 pounds and be poised for a move up in weight for a megafight with Mayweather.