Slugfest goes down to the wire despite late round knock-down.
Danny Garcia kept his World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association super lightweight titles with a unanimous decision over challenger Lucas Matthysses.
Garcia knocked Matthysses down in the 11th round and then the two went toe-to-toe in the final seconds of the 12-round showdown with both looking to end the bout with a knockout.
“We had a game plan and we stuck to it,” Garcia said. “I stood focused and disciplined.
“I faced adversity before and he hadn’t. I knew I would get this win.”
They fought on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather and Saul Alvarez 12-round world title fight for Alvarez’s World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association super welterweight belts.
Garcia improved to 27-0 but Matthysses made him work for it as he sent Garcia’s mouthpiece flying with a hard right hand in the 11th.
Garcia was also deducted a point for a low blow in the final round. But all three judges scored the fight in Garcia’s favour, with one judge having it 115-111. The other two had Garcia winning 114-112.
Matthysses, who suffered the first knockdown of his career, fell to 34-3 overall.
Garcia was coming off a successful defence of his 140-pound title with a unanimous decision over Zab Judah in April.
Matthysses has one of the highest knockout percentages for a world champ in boxing history, with 94 percent of his wins by KO. He had Garcia in trouble early in the 11th round but the champ rallied later in the round.
In an earlier undercard title fight, Carlos Molina won the International Boxing Federation’s junior middleweight title with a split-decision victory over Ishe Smith.
The 30-year-old Molina captured his first major world title in his 12-year boxing career. The Mexican has now won five of his last six fights, with his record improving to 22-5-2 with six knockouts.
American Smith, who beat Cornelius Bundrage in February for the title, fell to 25-6.