Few people expected the highly-anticipated encounter between the Philadelphia champion and the big-hitting Argentine to go beyond six rounds, such is the reputation of both men for quick finishes.
But with both men soaking up the other man’s offense with impressive resolve, it was the cerebral game plan of Garcia that won through, closing Matthysse’s right eye in the middle of the bout and knocking him down in a spectacular penultimate round.
It was the first knockdown of Matthysse’s career as Garcia took all three judges’ scorecards by 115-111, 114-112 and 114-112 after being docked one point for a low shot in the equally-exciting final three minutes.
In the opening contest of the PPV portion of the event, Britain’s Ashley Theophane was defeated by Pablo Cesar Cano via split decision.
Cano had Theophane in trouble during the early rounds more than once with heavy-handed offense, but the Londoner was able to remain vertical before pulling the contest back to even standings with smooth counter-boxing.
Catching a second wind, the Mexican started to hurt Theophane again in the final two rounds, which was enough to secure the victory over 10 rounds in the eyes of two of the three judges.
And Las Vegas’ own Ishe Smith, the first boxer born and raised in ‘Sin City’ to hold a world title, lost the IBF junior-middleweight crown in his first defence against Carlos Molina, also via split decision.