|Matthysse continues his devastating reign.|
It was the climax that was expected by many. A big right hand from the Argentine, the American challenger hitting the canvas, unable to continue.
But few expected it to come so early in the contest, as Lucas Matthysse knocked out Mike Dallas Jr at 2.26 of the first round, to bring an abrupt ending to their encounter at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Matthysse (33-2, 31 KOs) landed a short counter right hand as Dallas attacked with a lazy jab to leave himself wide open. The Bakersfield, California native was out cold as soon as the punch connected and made a Pacquiao-esque fall face first into the mat, but Matthysse also landed a left hook and a right to the body as his opponent was falling to accelerate Dallas’s descent.
Referee Robert Byrd abandoned his count after realising that Dallas was unable to continue and Matthysse threw his arms aloft in celebration. The one punch knockout sent out a chilling message to his 140lb rivals and in his post fight interview the WBA interim titleholder called out unified champion Danny Garcia. Hours later, word spread that Garcia would be pulling out of his February 9th title defence against Zab Judah.
In the build-up there were plenty, myself included, who thought Dallas (19-3-1, 8 KOs) would at least extend Matthysse a few rounds. With his height and reach advantages and ability to box and move it seemed that his best chance in the fight would be to try and keep it at distance, utilising his speed to step in and out to score when possible. But when he did move in to meet the Argentine his movement was slow and predictable and Matthysse landed his counter shot with perfect timing.
Matthysse was clinical in taking his chance though and there’s little doubt that the pressure fighter would have caught up to his opponent at some point, regardless of the tactics employed by Dallas. He has now scored five brutal stoppage victories in a row since his controversial split-decision defeat to Devon Alexander in 2011. This was arguably the most impressive of the bunch.
An avoided fighter before, the fellow elite of the 140lb division are probably even less eager to fight him now. Matthysse’s profile and marketability will however be further enhanced and he can do little more than continue to knock out top-level contenders as he awaits the big fights he so clearly deserves.