(Demetrius Andrade throws an uppercut at Freddy Hernandez; photo via Showtime)
No major major fights this weekend, but some interesting results. Let's get to 'em.
- Lucas Matthysse vs. Mike Dallas, Jr. It might not be the most innovative nickname, yet there's probably no more fitting monicker in boxing than Lucas "The Machine" Matthysse. That whiplash short counter right he landed on Dallas Saturday on Showtime that gave him an instant voyage to dreamland was something. Matthysse is right there with Gennady Golovkin as the best pure punchers operating at a high level, and it's intoxicating stuff. Sales of Amino 4500 are probably about to go through the roof. Gotta feel for Dallas for losing his father and then getting plastered; I don't think I'd ever dedicate anything to a recently deceased close person like he did unless I already had it in hand, lest it go wrong and then I feel double-bad. Dallas can box, but he's a full level or more below an authentic divisional contender, and nobody expected Matthysse to dispense with him that easily. Matthysse and Danny Garcia should meet ASAP in a battle of the two best junior welterweights, especially with the possibility (hazily sourced though that story is) that Garcia will be pulling out of the Zab Judah fight. I bet they reschedule that bout if it happens, though, and Garcia-Matthysse is delayed even more as Golden Boy Promotions execs wipe their hands across their collective foreheads and exclaim, "Wooo." [UPDATE: The bout is being rescheduled for April, in fact, per a news release from Golden Boy citing a Garcia rib injury.]
- Brian Vera-Serhiy Dzinziruk. Over in the ESPN2 Friday Night Fights main event, Vera stopped Dzinziruk in a suprisingly good middleweight scrap. Vera was his usual pressuring, attacking self, and Dzinziruk looked like, as 3 More Rounds' PJ Cassidy remarked early in the fight, "a big bowl of shot." There also were reports that Dzinziruk was terrible in camp and didn't train seriously. A little kerfuffle arose on Twitter about what Dzinizruk's loss to Vera meant about whether he was every any good prior to the Sergio Martinez fight, but you'd have to be completely blind to watch the guy who fought Friday compared to the guy who fought pre-Martinez and think they were the same person. That said, Dzinziruk displayed admirable heart after nearly getting stopped in the 1st round and rallying from nearly getting stopped again in the 8th to win the rest of the round, although he eventually quit in the 10th under another assault. Somehow, the fight was pretty close prior to the stoppage, after all that. Vera is clamoring for a fight with Golovkin, which makes him the only one. He'd be a perfectly valid choice for an in-between fight for Golovkin, assuming Golovkin can't lure a fellow contender into the ring instead.
- Demetrius Andrade vs. Freddy Hernandez. Andrade needed a fight just like this. Over on ShoBox Friday evening, the oft-boring former U.S. Olympian waged an aggressive campaign to knock out Hernandez, and he nearly did it a couple times before taking the wide decision victory. Andrade has speed and a funky hunched-over defensive technique, and while Hernandez has been rendered a gatekeeper, the performance was a reminder that Andrade could — could — become a big threat in the division when and if he gets into the ring with a contender. Hernandez also helped him keep the fight exciting by constantly moving forward in a gutsy fashion.
- Some of the rest. I won't revisit every weekend fight, but here are a few other thoughts: Vera and Jesus Soto Karass made it a big weekend for gritty types who give maximum effort and make life a living hell for the betting favorite, with Karass scoring a deserved decision win over welterweight Selcuk Aydin. Aydin's fatal flaw has always been that he lands good punches but not enough of them, and in retrospect Soto Karass' volume style should have been seen as having the edge, although better than usual boxing technique helped, too. Soto Karass doesn't cash in with upsets as often as Vera, so it's nice to see his work pay off… Make that three for three for "gritty types who give maximum effort and make life a living hell for the betting favorite," as lightweight Jose "El Loco" Hernandez came in on short notice and stopped prospect Tony Luis. I'm going to have to borrow Alex McClintock's man crush on Hernandez… The Charlo twins are coming along nicely. Both had wins this weekend, but Jermell's was the more impressive, as he stopped journeyman junior middleweight Harry Joe Yorgey in the 8th after dominating him all fight long. His jab is outstanding, his speed is solid and his form is sharp, but he's not a big finisher, and we'll see if that doesn't hurt him one of these days.