At Forum Inglewood California last night, two world title fights took place with Jorge Linares defending his WBA lightweight title against Mercito Gesta and Lucas Matthysee continuing his journey at welterweight as he battled Thailand’s Tewa Kiram for the vacant WBA world welterweight title.
First up it was Venezuelan Linares against Filipino Gesta, after a competitive few rounds, it was arguably close on the scorecards through the first 5 rounds, however, it was Linares who started to display he was a level or two above the Filipino and began to pull away, sweeping most, if not all of the second half of the fight.
The judges agreed and scorecards of 118-110 (twice) and 117-11 were returned, all in favor of Linares, who retained his world title by unanimous decision.
In the main event, Argentine Lucas Matthysse was attempting to throw his name into the mix with the top names in the welterweight division, but it was set to be a tough test against the rugged and capable Thai fighter.
Through the first three rounds, Kiram boxed mostly on the back foot, attempting to keep distance on the outside, frustrating the smaller man Matthysse who adopted the role of the aggressor, as always.
Through rounds four to six, if it wasn’t clear already, it was clear now, Matthysse was not going to be creating any panic among the top names in the division as Kiram continued to implement a box and move strategy that continued to frustrate the aggressor Matthysse.
Kiram looked relatively comfortable in there, and while the fight was close with neither fighter really taking control, it had to be remembered, Kiram was a significant underdog going into this bout, Matthysse was expected to win easily.
In round 8, Matthysse finally found a way through, a left jab, overhand right combination dropping Kiram who did well to get up off the canvas but looked badly hurt, seconds later the fight was over as Matthysse finished Kiram seemingly with a left jab.
Matthysse was announced the winner by TKO in round 8.
While the fight reaffirmed that Lucas Matthysse will always be dangerous, the performance did little to breed confidence that he will be able to mount a serious threat to the very best in the division, with the likes of Crawford, Spence Jr, and Thurman all in waiting.