Lucas Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs) chased the inexperienced little known #1 WBA Tewa Kiram (38-1, 28 Kos) around the ring for the first 7 rounds before finally catching up to him in the 8th round to knocking him out to capture the vacant WBA World welterweight title on Saturday night at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
Matthysse, 35, knocked Kiram down 2 times in the 8th. Tewa went down hard on the second knockdown, which was little more than a hard jab. The referee then halted the fight. Kirma, 25, stayed down for a long time on the canvas.
The first knockdown in round 8 was from a left-right combination from Matthysse. He trapped Kiram against the ropes and nailed him with a perfect left-right combination to the head. Kiram was slow in getting to his feet after the first knockdown. After the action resumed, Kiran landed some nice shots, but he wasn’t able to keep Matthysse off him unfortunately. Moments later, Kiram landed a right hand to the head of Matthysse, the Argentinian countered him with a jab to the head that flattened him for the 10 count.
This was a VERY ugly fight to watch due to the running and constant holding from the Thailand fighter. The World Boxing Association need to do a better job of ranking their fighters, because Kiram didn’t deserve to be rated No.1. He looked a novice that was out of his league and just running for his life against Matthysse. This was such an eyesore of a fight.
Matthysse didn’t look like the same fighter he’d been in the past tonight. At 35, Matthysse isn’t the same guy that destroyed Humberto Soto in 5 rounds in 2012, and battered Ruslan Provodnikov for 12 rounds in 2015. Matthysse has lost something from his game. Even Matthysse’s punching power didn’t look as good as it once was. Never the less, Matthysse still had enough power to chase down and stop the younger, bigger and more elusive Thailand fighter Kiram.
It wasn’t easy though. Kiram made it difficult for Matthysse by staying on the outside, moving and tying him up every chance he could get. Kiram had trained hard for this fight to try and spoil. The real suspense in the fight was how long could the over-matched Kiram run from Matthysse before he ultimately caught up with him to punch his lights out.
For a while there, it looked as if Kiram might be able to go the full 12 rounds to make it go to the scorecards. That would have been interesting to see how the judges would have scored it. Would they score it in favor of Matthysse due to the pressure that he was putting on the Thailand fighter? It seemed like an easy fight to score up until the point of the knockout. Matthysse was the aggressor throughout the fight and he was landing the better shots. Anyway, it’s good that Matthysse was able to take the judges out of the equation by knocking Kiram out, because it might have been messy had it gone to the scorecards.