"I'm a great warrior, he's a great warrior. He kept coming, I fought my heart out. I'm a Philadelphia fighter."
Garcia shut Matthysse's right eye in the seventh round and attacked him with his signature left hook the rest of the way. The eye provided Garcia a target and a distinct advantage to turn around his slow start. He weathered Matthysse's desperate attack in the final minute of the final round and even raised his hands as if to bait the challenger some more.
Garcia won two scorecards, 114-112, and a third judge ruled, 115-111.
Matthysse fired away in the 11th, knocking Garcia's mouthpiece off with a nice shot and then backing him into the ropes. The champion tried to slow the momentum with a few clutches, but Matthysse kept coming.
His eye was only getting worse and Garcia knew it. Garcia baited him and knocked him to the mat with a huge hook. The champion regained control and headed to the final round with the crowd behind him.
Garcia continued to attack Matthysse's right side in Round 8. And when the Argentine overly protected his damaged eye, Garcia found him with a strong right hand. The champion cracked Matthysse again late in the ninth as his hook bounced off the challenger's gloves.
Garcia appeared a bit worn down by the seventh round, his face reddened by Matthysse's repetitive blows. His counterpunches were not connecting with any power and he soon found himself backed into his own corner. Using his right hand, the challenger kept pressing. He avoided Garcia's looping left hand and answered later with a left of his own.
But just before the judge signaled the round's final 10 seconds, Garcia connected with a huge combination topped with a left hook. Matthysse returned to his corner with his right eye swollen shut.
Referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight late in Round 5 after Garcia connected with a low blow. He did not deduct the champion a point, but Matthysse came out firing after the stoppage. He attacked Garcia with his right hand and finished the round by knocking the champion into the ropes.
Matthysse avoided Garcia's counterpunches throughout the first three rounds, until Garcia approached the fight more aggressively in Round 4. Garcia connected with a few body shots to set up his strong right hook. And most important, the champion ducked underneath Matthysse's return shots.
Matthysse tried to connect with Garcia after the bell ended the second round. The referee separated the fighters and Garcia scowled at the challenger. Earlier in the round, Matthysse backed Garcia into his corner and went to town. Garcia escaped only to be warned for a low blow.
Garcia tried to size Matthysse up with a wild left hook early in the first round but missed and left himself open for a quick shot. Matthysse forced him into the ropes later in the round and delivered a strong right hand.
For more from Saturday night's light-welterweight championship bout between Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse and the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez bout, go to www.inquirer.com/sports
Contact Matt Breen at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @matt_breen.