Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Boxing [Print without images]

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
More upside: Golovkin or Matthysse?

By Michael Woods

There is nothing quite so fascinating as a boxer who has game-changing hands, true weapons that can render a foe slumped and twitching in a blink.

The fight game hasn't had an excess of those natural-born lobotomizers in recent years, as the top two pound-for-pound revenue drivers, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, have many attributes but chin-checking power not being prominent in their arsenals. But recently, two men have smashed their way on to the scene who do promise violence, two fighters who will make you pay if you step away to the fridge during a round.

Argentine Lucas Matthysse's left hook gave him an early victory in Atlantic City, N.J., on Saturday, as he finished off Lamont Peterson, no stepping stone in the least, in Round 3. The 30-year-old boxer went to 34-2 with 30 KOs with the victory. Another hammer-fisted sort, Gennady Golovkin (age 31; 26-0, 23 KOs), will try to separate Irishman Matthew Macklin (29-4, 20 KOs) from his senses on June 29 at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Conn., and on HBO.

For fun, I asked HBO's play-by-play man Jim Lampley to be manager for a day. If he had his druthers, would he rather have paper on Golovkin or Matthysse?

"Hmmm, that's a complex question," he said, with a pause for mulling. "Both are punchers. You want to see both, but perhaps Golovkin is closer to speaking English in public. With Miguel Cotto and somewhat with Sergio Martinez, the more they speak English, the more fan friendly and galvanizing he becomes. I think Golovkin has more classic boxing skill to go with power punching. Matthysse functions in a more crowded landscape in the 140 and 147 neighborhood. It's more populated, and there may be even more matchups for him.

"I have to beg off; it's a close call. Any manager who has either is a lucky guy."

Readers, what say you? Would you rather be on board the Golovkin train, or do you think Matthysse has more upside down the line?