The end of the fight came during the final seconds of the tenth round, courtesy of a flush right hand to the eye from Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) that put Matthysse (37-4, 34 KOs) on one knee and unable to continue. The official time of the knockout was 2 minutes 58 second into the round.
“I felt a pop in my eye,” Matthysse told HBO’s Max Kellerman via interpreter after the fight. “I preferred to take care of my eye. I could have gotten up, but I preferred to stay down to protect my eye. I felt well, but nothing happened for me tonight.”
Check out the knockout here:
A game Matthysse stalked and followed Postol throughout a fight that was at times marred by clinching and breaks in the action, landing to the body and finding the Ukrainian’s face with his straight right. But he was unable to bully passed the lanky Postol’s reach to where he could inflict any meaningful damage, and by the second half of the fight, Matthysse seemed to be out of ideas.
After a rocky first round for Postol, he established his jab and settled down into his stick-move-punch-clinch game plan. When the fighters weren’t grappling, Postol was on the move, working the jab and hooks, landing his combinations, and piling up the points.
Expert predictions going into Saturday’s fight were split between a Matthysse knockout or a Postol decision win. As bout looked like it was on its way to a clear decision for Postol, he caught Matthysse coming in with a right hand to the eye, which ended the fight with an unexpected surprise knockout for the 33-year-old.
“I didn’t come to knock [Matthysse] out, I am glad to do that,” said Postol via an interpreter during his post-fight interview. “I just came in the fight, I wanted to relax and box, and see what I could do best. When the knockout came, it felt great.”
CompuBox had Postol landing 113 out of 509 punches thrown, Matthysse landed 96 out of 281.
Viktor Postol, a 31-year-old former world title holder from Ukraine, had last been in action with victories over Jake Giuriceo and Selcuk Aydin. Postol holds victories over DeMarcus Corley and Hank Lundy.
Lucas Matthysse, who will continue to be a high-action fan favorite, came into Saturday’s encounter riding the momentum of wins over maulers Ruslan Provodnikov, Roberto Ortiz, and John Molina Jr since his decision loss to Danny Garcia in September of last year.
On the co-main event, Antonio Orozco (23-0, 15 KOs) remains undefeated by outpointing Humberto Soto (65-9-2, 35 KOs) in an action packed 10-rounder.