Weekend Wrap: The Lukie Report – Carson, CA
Thurman Goes from “One-Time” to “All-the-Time”
Keith “One Time” Thurman is slowly becoming the most feared man in the welterweight division. In his first headlining bout at the StubHub Center, Thurman destroyed Julio Diaz in three rounds. This was the same Diaz who nearly beat Amir Khan and gave Shawn Porter two tough fights. Thurman is slowly becoming the elephant in the room at welterweight and no one seems to be jumping to fight him, unless it is for big money. Thurman, however, needs to establish his name through wins for the big money to come to him creating a bit of a paradox.
Thurman, who explained to the media this week end, that he had been reading the criticism of his defense and was going to show us something special. The criticism mainly stemmed from his fights with Diego Chaves and Jesus Soto-Karass, both caught Thurman with punches that seemed to get his attention. Thurman came out with a mission and, sadly for Diaz, it was brought full force to the body of Diaz, whose corner retired him from the fight between the third and fourth round due to a broke rib. The punch that did the big damage was a punch to temple in round 2 that hit him so hard it took Diaz a minute to realize he needed to take a knee.
After the fight Thurman made no bones what his future intentions are “Shawn Porter is the number one option. Porter is who the fans want and I want to make the fans happy.” Ken Porter, Shawn’s dad and trainer has publicly stated he hopes for the fight to marinate and become a big money fight. What the future holds no one knows, but Thurman showed improved counterpunching ability and simply outclassed Julio Diaz, a guy who often gives other guys fits.
He is not a monster?
Lucas Matthysse survived two early knockdowns from John Molina to later knockdown Molina two times ,before a stoppage in the eleventh. Molina simply collapsed from the sheer volume of punishment. In what was the obvious fight of the year of 2014, Matthysse was pushed to the limit against John Molina who gained a healthy advantage on the scorecards, but faded late in the fight until the stoppage.
For Matthysse, this was a troubling sign. He took a lot of punches he although later on he got to Molina, it appeared Matthysse may have been knocked out within 3 to 4 rounds. Matthysse appeared more vulnerable than he had in the past. The big question now is that with this type of showing and assuming Adrien Broner wins, will that fight may be in play? Matthysse, who had the boxing world at the edge of their seats in 2013 prior to the Danny Garcia loss, now looks to be a fighter dealing with confidence issues at times. To be fair, Matthysse showed incredible composure and an ability to recover when faced in tough times.
In the end, Matthysse withstood one of the toughest punchers in the game and came back late into eight to wear out Molina. The big question is, hat did we learn about Lucas Matthysse in this fight? Is he still the monster he was once made out to be? Was it just another case of how people hated when Molina landed to the back of Matthysse’s head, but applauded when Matthysse shoved Molina to the ground? Nonetheless, greatness is greatness and this fight was just that.
Matthysse showed the ability to fight back from a tough fight and win.Matthysse may be a frontrunner. In the end, what we learned about Matthysse is that his is tougher than people may have thought.
Figueroa Jr. Wins?
WBC Lightweight champion Omar Figueroa Jr. found himself in another tough fight against Jerry Belmontes, a man who beat him in the amateurs and quite possibly may beat him in the pros, as Figueroa was award a split decision victory after a stagnant fight that seemed to fizzle out around the fifth round. If slow styles made fights, these guys would be considered geniuses. These guys just did not mesh and put together a performance that glorified sparring. It appeared that Figueroa was annoyed by Belmontes’ lack of engagement. Belmontes was inactive and on the bicycle often causing the vocal Carson, CA crowd to boo loudly.
“Omar, fight man! C’mon, knock him out!” said a frustrated fan during the final round of the fight. Figueroa, who may have been put on the card to appeal to the Mexican-American population in the greater Los Angles area, lacked the action that appealed to hardcore Mexican-American fight fans in the area. For Figueroa, the more troubling aspect was that the fight resembled his fight with Nihito Arakawa only with Belmontes having more power and more ability. In reality, the fight just lacked the urgency of a title fight and many rounds were called swing rounds. The lack of urgency made it a tough fight to watch let alone score.
As Figueroa continues to step up more questions are arising rather than answers.
Charlo Stops Foe, JoJo Diaz Jr. Pleases Crowd
Jermall Charlo returned after his ill-fated title shot against Carlos Molina, who now seems more than likely to be stripped off his title, after his indefinite detention over immigration violations. Charlo returned against Hector Munoz, a veteran tough guy who came forward all night against Charlo. However, Charlo was a better boxer and puncher which lead to an accumulation of damage. Munoz who had blood on his face by the third round saw his night come to a quick holt as the fight was stopped between rounds due to the amount of damage taken early.
Joseph Diaz Jr. returned to his hometown crowd against Luis Maldonado as Diaz Jr. controlled the majority of the action recording a 60-54 decision. Diaz Jr., a young prospect many have high hopes for, showed off his fast hands and ability to counter punch as he dominated Maldonado. For the former Olympian, Diaz Jr. continues to merit attention for his ability to not just put on a good performance , but to win over the crowd as well.
Gausha Gets Win, Perella Impresses
Terrell Guasha dominated Charles Whittaker, who is known for being on television in 2012 losing to Gabriel Rosado. Gausha fought a tactical fight that lacked the high paced energy of the bouts that were to follow and even when Gausha floored Whittaker in the sixth, it appeared Whittaker was dejected in his corner the round prior. Guasha who smothered a lot of punches when he had Whittaker on the ropes continues to be one of 2012 Olympians that seems to have the lowest ceiling. Guasha, who is a solid individual and made headlines about his refusal to wear the U.S. flag after the George Zimmerman verdict, showed improvement, yet the flaws need to be fixed in order to move to the next level.
Falcao, Bogere and Gomez Earn Dark Match Wins
Light Heavyweight Yumaguchi Falcao defeated Francisco Najera in his Golden Boy Promotions debut. Falcao signed with the promotion after his Bronze medal performance in 2012 Olympics. Falcao appeared to be tough and physical and he received his first professional win as his first bout earlier this year was ruled a double disqualification. Falcao is wild, unpredictable and a bit mean in the ring meaning, he could be someone who gets on television a tad bit faster than others.
Frankie Gomez returned after a lengthy layoff against Orlando Vasquez to stop Vasquez in three rounds. Gomez, who was originally a lightweight, fought the bout at a catchweight of 143, and seems to be leaning more to a welterweight career from this point on. Gomez, who is a talent when his head is in the boxing game, has had outside the ring woes that have stalled his career. Gomez who fought on the untelevised portion of the card around 3:00 PM local time earned a emphatic knockout, but may have also gotten a stern warning that patience is running thin as well.
Sharif Bogere defeated Arturo Urena in the opening bout of the card. Urena missed weight by 8 lbs. Bogere controlled the fight and eventually earned a stoppage, but didn’t look as good as one might have hoped against opposition that was not in their prime. Bogere is most notable for fighting Ricar Abril on Showtime last year.