Thursday, January 3, 2013
Lucas Matthysse gets Michael Dallas
By Dan Rafael
Slugger Lucas Matthysse of Argentina will defend his interim junior welterweight belt against Michael Dallas Jr. on Jan. 26 after original opponent Hank Lundy was forced out of the fight because of contractual problems with his promoter.
Golden Boy Promotions, which handles Matthysse, announced the new fight on Thursday. It will headline a Showtime-televised tripleheader (10 p.m. ET/PT) at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Also announced for the card were a pair of scheduled 10-round bouts: welterweights Selcuk Aydin (23-1, 17 KOs) of Turkey and Mexico's Jesus Soto Karass (26-8-3, 17 KOs) in the co-feature and junior middleweight prospect Jermell Charlo (19-0, 9 KOs) of Houston facing an opponent to be determined.
"We're excited to start off 2013 with a big tripleheader on Showtime," Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya said. "We are setting the standard high for 2013 and this event is going to deliver up to that standard for fight fans in attendance at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and those watching on at home on Showtime."
Matthysse was originally supposed to face Philadelphia's Lundy (22-2-1, 11 KOs), but he is embroiled in a dispute with promoter Boxing 360, which had not signed off on the fight. Unable to finalize Matthysse-Lundy, Golden Boy moved onto Dallas, 26, of Bakersfield, Calif.
Dallas (19-2-1, 8 KOs) won both of his bouts in 2012, a 10-round decision against Miguel Gonzalez and a sixth-round knockout of Javier Castro. Those victories followed back-to-back losses in 2011, a seventh-round knockout to Josesito Lopez and a 10-round majority decision to Mauricio Herrera.
The 30-year-old Matthysse (32-2, 30 KOs), one of boxing's hardest hitters, has scored two significant victories in a row. In June, he stopped former lightweight titleholder Humberto Soto in the fifth round of a slugfest and in September he stopped Olusegun Ajose in the 10th round of an all-action fight to claim a vacant interim belt.
Matthysse's only defeats were both by split decision -- to Zab Judah and Devon Alexander in their hometowns on debatable results.
Aydin is coming off his first defeat, a unanimous decision loss to Robert Guerrero for an interim welterweight title in July. Soto Karass is also coming off a loss, getting stopped in the eighth round by former junior welterweight titlist Marcos Maidana in a welterweight shootout in September.
The 22-year-old Charlo emerged as a top prospect in 2012 with knockouts of Chris Chatman and Denis Douglin as well as a decision against Dashon Johnson.
"We are thrilled to kick-off Showtime Championship Boxing in 2013 with an exciting night of boxing featuring some of the sports' hardest hitting punchers," said Stephen Espinoza, the executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports. "Whenever you bring together fighters of this caliber, you can expect great action-packed fights and that is exactly what we are anticipating for this tripleheader."