Garcia to face Matthysse in title bout on Sept. 14


Garcia to face Matthysse in title bout on Sept. 14

One of the most anticipated boxing cards in recent history just got even bigger.

Philadelphia native and unified junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia will square off against interim titleholder Lucas Matthysse on Sept. 14 as the co-feature match to Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s junior middleweight unification bout with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.

"This is the fight I wanted and the fight that I asked for," Garcia said in a statement. "That is why I'm so happy this fight has been made and will be a part of this huge event. I'm more confident than ever in my abilities and I'm going to show it on September 14. Matthysse is a good fighter and has a big punch, but I'm a talented fighter with what it takes to be a champion and stay that way. This is an opportunity for the world to see what I can really do in the ring."

"I'm glad I finally get a chance to fight Danny Garcia," Matthysse said. "This is the fight that the entire boxing world (especially my country Argentina) and I wanted. I want to thank my promoters Golden Boy Promotions and Mario Arano for making this fight possible. On September 14, I will show the world that I am the best 140 pound fighter on the planet."

The event will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Showtime Pay-Per-View. Prior to adding the Garcia-Matthysse fight, tickets for the highly-anticipated card had already sold out in less than 24 hours.

"Boxing is at its finest when the best step up to fight the best, and this is what we have with Mayweather and Canelo and now Garcia and Matthysse," boxing legend and president of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya, said. "September 14 will be one of the most memorable nights of boxing we have been treated to in a long time."

Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs) is coming off a unanimous decision win over Zab Judah on April 27 to retain his WBA, WBC and The Ring 140-pound titles. Garcia has fought current or former champions in each of his past six bouts.

Matthysse (34-2, 32 KOs) put on a show in his last fight, delivering a third-round knockout of titleholder Lamont Peterson on May 18. Matthysse's 94 percent knockout mark is one of the highest for a world champion in the history of the sport.

Even Mike Trout wants to see Sam Bradford's return to Philly

Even Mike Trout wants to see Sam Bradford's return to Philly

When Angels All-Star outfielder Mike Trout's six-year, $144.5 million contract ends in 2020, the Millville, New Jersey, native will be in his prime at 29 years old, and Phillies' fans dream of seeing Trout playing at Citizens Bank Park could be come true.

For the time being, though, Trout, a season-ticket holder, is just chilling at Lincoln Financial Field as the Eagles play the Vikings on Sunday because the Angels are almost as bad as the Phillies and even he couldn't stay away from Sam Bradford's return to Philadelphia.

Michael Del Zotto, Scott Laughton return to practice

Michael Del Zotto, Scott Laughton return to practice

VOORHEES, N.J. — The Flyers welcomed two more players out on to the rink for their practice following Saturday’s 6-3 win over Carolina. 

Michael Del Zotto (lower body) and Scott Laughton (lower body) returned to the ice for the first time since suffering injuries within days of each other. Before Sunday’s light practice, Del Zotto and Laughton had skated two consecutive days prior to work on their conditioning. 

“It’s nice to see them back with the group,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. 

Laughton, who injured himself during a training camp practice after losing an edge, was a bit more forward than Del Zotto on when he hopes to return. 

“I would say within the next five to seven days,” Laughton said.

The 22-year-old pointed to Saturday’s game with Pittsburgh as his target to return. 

As for Del Zotto, the defenseman didn’t want to jinx anything, saying it’s a “day-by-day” situation. He would like to think he’s working on the same timetable as Laughton. If that’s the case, he would be back either a few days before or right on cue with the projected four to five weeks he was scheduled to miss after suffering an injury to his left knee in the preseason against the New York Rangers on Oct. 6. 

“It’s kind of trial and error,” Del Zotto said. 

Above all else, though, the two were just happy to be back with their teammates. Del Zotto said that being around everyone really rejuvenated his spirits. 

“Just being back around the guys and having that team chemistry and camaraderie and being able to joke with the guys,” Del Zotto said, “it’s probably been the best thing for me.”

This past month has especially been hard on the two because of the timing and how last season ended for them. 

While there’s never an ideal time to suffer an injury, the pair saw training camp and the approaching start of the regular season in a different light than most of their teammates.

It was supposed to be their new start. Last season, Del Zotto missed the final few months, including the postseason, after ligament damage to his left wrist. He was having a strong preseason, arguably the top defenseman in camp at the time before suffering his setback.

“Being out so long last year and having to sit and watch playoffs than having six months of grueling rehab to get back into it … that made it sting that much more,” Del Zotto said. “That’s part of the game. It’s a contact sport. I signed up for this.”

The same can be said for Laughton, who experienced a scary injury in Game 4 against Washington after being dumped head first into the boards. 

“I was really excited to have camp and start the year here,” Laughton said. 

The two will be traveling to Montreal with the rest of the Flyers for Monday’s contest. They will each do the morning skate with another bag skate afterward.