Boxing: lucas matthysse

More upside: Golovkin or Matthysse?

May, 21, 2013
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?

Team Judah wants Garcia fight March 9

January, 27, 2013
Zab Judah is disappointed that Danny Garcia has been pulled from a Feb. 9 faceoff at Barclays, his father-trainer Yoel Judah told ESPN New York, but the boxer still wants a piece of Garcia.

The father told us that he wants to see a doctor's note to prove that the 24 year-old from Philly is actually injured, and shared his skepticism about the circumstances that forced the change in plans. (A late morning call to Angel Garcia, the trainer-father of Danny, was not returned.)

"I think he's not hurt, he's not in shape," Yoel told NYFightblog. "He's young, 24, you can't hurt that boy. I think he heard Zab is in shape. Zab can beat anybody right now." ESPN's Dan Rafael Tweeted at 2 PM Sunday that he learned that Garcia "has a rib problem."

Yoel said it is up to Zab, but that it makes the most sense to simply push the fight to March 9, when Bernard Hopkins takes on Tavoris Cloud at Barclays.

Would he sign off on a substitute opponent for Zab -- like a Lucas Matthysse, who lost a split decision to Judah in November 2010 -- and keep the February slot alive? He'd consider it, he said, but a re-set to March 9 is the top option for Team Judah.

PS: Reader Mike Rupp pointed out a "duh" fact that muddies the mix--the March 9 show will run on HBO, while the Feb. 9 card will run on Showtime. Yeah, the venue and promoter are the same for each date, but not the presenter....Could we see how a Showtime fight gets added to an HBO card? Er, no.

I don't recall a precedent for that. Do any readers?

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DiBella: Olusegun 50-50 to beat Matthysse

September, 5, 2012
Lou DiBella co-promotes along with Gary Shaw one of the headliners who fights on Showtime this Saturday night, Ajose Olusegun.

Olusegun, a Londoner born in Nigeria, sports a 30-0 mark, with 14 KOs. He takes on Argentine bomber Lucas Matthysse (31-2 with 29 KOs) in Las Vegas. I asked DiBella to give viewers who haven't seen Olusegun a sense of what he brings to the table.

"He's a little unorthodox, a good defensive fighter, he's defensive-minded, a boxer-puncher who can hurt you with accumulated blows," the promoter said. "He's extremely skilled and very, very hungry. He's a little frustrated and angry at being avoided by so many guys."

Olusegun hoped to get a crack at Erik Morales, when the Mexican held the WBC 140 pound crown, but Morales instead took on Pablo Cano, though the Nigerian was the No. 1 contender. He earned that slot with a win over Ali Chebah, back in September of 2011.

After that, Morales veered away from Olusegun, and met Danny Garcia. Garcia won that scrap, so Olusegun set his sights on Garcia. Team Garcia averted their eyes, and offered some step-aside money so the Philly kid could meet Amir Khan. This sort of silliness is one of the main reasons the sport has lessened in popularity in recent decades, because the shenanigans of these sanctioning bodies too often takes precedence over common sense, and stands in the way of matches being made that fans want to see.

Now, I'm not saying there are thousands of fight fans out there who clamor to see Olusegun do his thing ... but what's right is right. If the guy is ranked No. 1, there shouldn't be an obstacle course of obstruction that keeps him from getting his due shot. For the record, the WBC relented somewhat to reason, and Olusegun and Matthysse will vie for the WBC interim junior welter title. We could assume that the winner will get a crack at the non-interim belt, which Garcia holds and will defend against Morales on Oct. 20, at Barclays. But assuming in this sport is never wise.

NYFightBlog asked DiBella if he thinks his guy is a big underdog. "It's a 50-50 fight in my view, though a lot of people think Matthysse is heavily favored," DiBella said. "I think the 50-50 odds are right."