Rise of The Machine: Matthysse Stops Molina

By Robert Ecksel on April 26, 2014
Rise of The Machine: Matthysse Stops Molina
The StubHub had been magically transformed into the Roman Colosseum. (Naoki Fukuda)

Matthysse and Molina made it a fight to remember with their go for broke, devil-may-care, nail-biting war to end all wars…

Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, Lucas Matthysse (35-3, 33 KOs), aka La Máquina, in his first fight since losing to Danny Garcia, stopped John “The Gladiator” Molina Jr. (27-4, 22 KOs) in the 11th round in a blood and guts thriller of a fight. Although the bout wasn’t the featured attraction, Matthysse and Molina made it a fight to remember with their go for broke, devil-may-care, nail-biting war to end all wars. 

Fighting out of the blue corner in black trunks with light blue trim, Matthysse was the favorite coming in. Many thought Garcia was lucky to get the win last September, not least among them Matthysse himself. But Molina, fighting out of the red corner in black trunks trimmed in red, was no pushover, despite having lost two of his last five fights.

It didn’t take long before the bombs began landing in the action-packed first round. Matthysse got off first and backed up Molina with a solid right. Then Molina stunned Matthysse and it was on. Both fighters were landing. Both fighters were going for the jugular. The big right was Molina’s weapon of choice. Matthysse, who took round one by a hair, was mixing it up with hooks and straight rights.

Molina made a statement in the second. Less than a minute into the round he dropped Matthysse to the canvas with a looping overhand right. The Gladiator had come to fight, and for all intents and purposes the StubHub had been magically transformed into the Roman Colosseum. A huge 10-8 round for Molina.

The third round was no less intense than the rounds preceding it. Matthysse landed a solid left hook. Molina countered with a left-right combination. An accidental clash of heads cut Matthysse above the left eye and Molina on the top of his head. What had been a display of beautiful controlled violence became a bloody demonstration of indifference to pain.

Blood or no blood, pain or no pain, both fighters continued to trade hellacious shots in round four. Matthysse got things started and Molina countered effectively, but then La Máquina turned up the heat. He was fighting with urgency, landing jabs, rights and left hooks which the veteran Molina absorbed like sponge. The Californian was being beaten. But he wasn’t done, not by a long shot, as a hard right landed flush on Matthysse at the bell to end the round.

Matthysse kept the momentum going in the fifth, before Molina dropped him a second time with a punch behind the head. It wasn’t intentional and theoretically shouldn’t have been ruled a knockdown. But referee Pat Russell was out of position to make the proper call, so the round went Molina 10-8.

Round six saw both fighters winging leather. First Molina hurt Matthysse with a dynamite left hook. Matthysse returned the favor with an uppercut that stunned Molina. Molina followed up with a right. Matthysse answered with a blistering combination. Molina drove Matthysse to the ropes and cracked him one to the jaw that almost put him down. Matthysse had the upper hand, maybe, but it was anyone’s fight.

Matthysse more or less took control in round seven. He landed a hook to the head, followed by a right to the body. The Argentinean was landing more. He was doing better work. He was demonstrating his superiority and busting up Molina. 

They went at it toe-to-toe in the eighth. Cut, bleeding, and fighting an opponent who simply would not quit, Matthysse let ‘er rip, throwing every punch in the book with the baddest intentions imaginable. While the fans in the StubHub were going berserk, Matthysse put Molina to the canvas at the end of the round. Pat Russell ruled it a knockdown, but the replay revealed it was less a knockdown than a pushdown. It was the second blown call of the night and a 10-8 round for Matthysse.

Molina continued to absorb punches in round nine and was beginning to fade. Matthysse was coming on strong, coming into his own, and landed lefts and rights to Molina’s body and head almost at will. Molina continued to fight back, there are some things on which we can depend, but it was starting to look as though Matthysse had the fight in the bag.

Matthysse began the round 10 with double left hooks that were right on the money. Pat Russell was watching Molina closely, as were we all, because he was eating punches like there was no tomorrow. The fight was fast becoming target practice. Matthysse unloaded a dozen unanswered punches. Molina went down a second time.

Between rounds 10 and 11 the ref and ring doctor were in the red corner, trying to determine whether Molina was fit enough to continue. They decided, somewhat reluctantly, that he was and sent him out for what was to be the final round of the fight. Twenty-two seconds into round 11, Molina was dropped again. Pat Russell waved off the count. It was over.

Punch stats indicate that Matthysse landed 275 of 573 punches or 48%, while Molina landed 104 of 392 for 27%. And while numbers don’t lie, they don’t tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The fight was as competitive as it was memorable and brutal, and The Gladiator, who lost the battle, may have won the war.

But Lucas Matthysse, a dangerous fighter, a dangerous man in a dangerous sport, was the ultimate winner on this night.

La Máquina is back and back in a big way.

“It was really a war,” he said after the fight, “and it got very complicated for me at the beginning of the fight, but I trained very hard and you saw what happened tonight. In the fifth round when I got hit in the back of the head, I kind of crumbled a little bit. But I was just waiting to get my distance, to fight a tough fighter like Molina was tonight.”

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Lucas Matthysse vs John Molina Full Fight Part 1/3

Lucas Matthysse vs John Molina Full Fight Part 2/3

Lucas Matthysse vs John Molina Full Fight Part 3/3

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  1. Darrell 06:54pm, 04/28/2014

    What a whale of a fight!

  2. Mohummad Humza Elahi 01:16am, 04/28/2014

    This is why I love watching The Machine fight; Maidana vs Broner is my FOTY so far but this could’ve knocked it off that spot.

  3. Koolz 03:12pm, 04/27/2014

    Lucas the Machine!  Man what a fight.  Honestly Fighters shouldn’t take that much punishment in a fight, your career won’t last long.
    Molina got the crap beat out of him!
    Goossen is one crazy guy doesn’t he care about Molina!

  4. andrew 11:12am, 04/27/2014

    Ultimate boxing fantasy: When the bell rings the ref and the doctor drag Goossen out of his lair to get his face punched. Would he manage to avoid crying til he got hit?

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 10:07am, 04/27/2014

    Ref: “John you can’t take anymore punishment”....Goossen….“Wait a minute…..of course he can!”....you double dumb bastard….you fukked up ghoul….get the fuk out of boxing and back into your crypt!

  6. Pete The Sneak 07:52am, 04/27/2014

    That was one brutal affair, man…Don’t think I’ve ever seen Lucas throw and land so many powerful left hands…Have to agree with Irish Frankie here, what the hell was Goossen doing, not allowing the doctor to talk/examine Molina? I don’t think anyone would have argued if the doc and Ref would not have allowed Molina to come out for the 12th round…Peace.

  7. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:28am, 04/27/2014

    Goossen needs to be suspended for interfering with the ringside physician and it has nothing to do with “heart” and way more about the head….John “I wanted to continue ” Molina needs a Psych eval like yesterday!

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