Photo by Ed Mulholland/HBO Boxing
Saturday January 27th, 2018- Los Angeles, CA~The world famous Forum in Inglewood played host once again to a night of boxing action, brought to you by Golden Boy Promotions. Headlining the card was perennial contender Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse 39-4 (36 KO’s) from Argentina, who took on previously undefeated Tewa Kiram 38-1 (28 KO’s) from Thailand for the vacant WBA Welterweight Title.
The fight began in usual fashion for Matthysse, studying and stalking his prey. Attempting to find his way inside, Matthysse made his presence felt with a left hook and overhead right that warranted Kiram’s retreat. If there is one thing Lucas Matthysse knows how to accomplish, it is that his fans leave satisfied after his fights. As Matthysse brought the fight to the center of the ring, Kiram focused on keeping his distance and being elusive. Strategy that came to the dismay of the fans who were looking for an all out war as in the previous fight.
While Matthysse indeed came looking for a fight, Kiram seemed to be looking to avoid one. With not alot of action going on, Matthysse managed to stay the aggressor. Dictating the pace at all times, and establishing his presence, Matthysse managed to subdue Kiram be it in underwhelming fashion. In the 8th round, Matthysse landed a hard jab that dropped Kiram to the canvas. As Kiram beat the referee’s count, Matthysse engaged fully and landed yet another hard Jab that dropped Kiram and knocked out him out cold. Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse wins the WBA strap in devastating fashion.
In the co-main event Jorge “El Nino de Oro” Linares 44-3 (27 KO’s), defended his WBA Lightweight Title against rugged Phillipines fighter Mercito Gesta 31-2-2 (17 KO’s). From the start the fight, a proverbial chess match unraveled between both fighters who sought to break through each other’s guard. As Linares established his presence, Gesta mixed it up with some boxing and movement that allowed him to employ a quick check jab for his cause. The back and forth was created by high output from both fighters, both connecting flush shots but unable to capitalize in the follow up. By the 5th round as Gesta remained in the booth, Linares began retreating as if succumbing to the pressure. Gesta began landing significant shots, most notably a flurry to close the round. Linares seemed to be effective in spurts, as Gesta offered good opportunity to counter off the backfoot, which is how linares approached the middle rounds.
By the 8th round, Gesta was bringing heavy volume, as Linares sought to find a way to break his will. The back and forth continued well into the late rounds, Gesta seemed to sway momentum his way and landing assertive shots and counters on a Linares whom at moments seemed lost in his approach. As Linares remained strong he found a way to get off shots to keep Gesta at bay. The scores definitely did not reflect the way the fight evolved, but at the end of 12 hard fought rounds, Jorge Linares gets the Unanimous Decision victory with scores of 118-110 X2 and 117-111.
After the fight, Linares said the following: “I didn’t really feel his power, though I hurt my hand in the 4th or 5th round. I threw my right hand without really putting too much power into it. I wasn’t touching him, there wasn’t a knockout because he was well prepared.”
In earlier night action, Marcelino Lopez from Argentina gets the TKO victory over Breidis Prescott and Improving to 34-2-1 (19 KO’s). Tenochtitlan “T-Dogg” Nava comes up short with a TKO loss to Francisco Esparza 7-0-1 (3 KO’S). Romero Duno improves to 16-1 (14 KO’s) with the 1st round KO of Yardley Cruz.