During a conference call in April of last year, junior welterweight Lucas Matthysse said he believed himself to be a better fighter than his 140-pound Argentine countryman Marcos Maidana, whom he called “ordinary.”
According to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, Matthysse (31-2, 29 knockouts) could yet get a chance to prove it.
Matthysse scored his third straight knockout victory by stopping former WBC 130-pound and lightwieght titleholder Humberto Soto (58-8-2, 34 KOs) in the fifth round on Saturday, ending the Mexican’s 15-bout winning streak that had included six knockouts in a WBC 140-pound title eliminator bout.
“What you saw with Lucas Matthysse and Humberto Soto was two, great action fighters. Lucas Matthysse is one of the hardest punchers in the sport,” said Schaefer. “In fact, after the fight, we discussed with his team a fight with Marcos Maidana, who was in attendance as well.”
Schaefer said that Maidana (31-3, 28 KOs) must first get beyond a July 21 welterweight matchup with Keith Thurman (17-0, 16 KOs) of Clearwater, Fla., who will be after his seventh straight stoppage win.
In Thurman, 23, Maidana will be facing a 147-pounder for the second consecutive time, having lost a one-sided decision to southpaw former junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander in February.
“That’s all assuming Maidana can get by Keith Thurman, which is, by the way, no sure thing. Keith Thurman is very, very talented and he’s one of those punchers as well. I think that his record speaks for itself, because he’s extremely dangerous and he’s been waiting for an opportunity. This fight is going to be another war and another toe-to-toe battle, and the outcome will be determined by sheer willpower,” said Schaefer.
“But assuming Maidana does get by Thurman, then the fight that everybody, of course, would love to see is the showdown between Marcos Maidana and Lucas Matthysse. This would be probably the biggest fight in Argentina based on what I’ve been told. I’ve already discussed it with Showtime. They would love to go to Argentina and cover that fight.”
Matthysse has lost disputed decisions to left-handed, slick-boxing former beltholders Zab Judah (41-7, 28 KOs) and Alexander Devon Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs) in November of 2010 and in June of last year.
Maidana has also lost to technicians in ex-titleholder Andriy Kotelnik (31-4-1, 13 KOs) and former IBF and WBA beltholder Amir Khan in February of 2009 and December of last year.
Maidana and Matthysse share wins over former beltholder DeMarcus Corley. Maidana faced in Corley in August of last year and Matthysse fought Corley in January.
Corley lost a toe-toe battle with Maidana, rising from an eighth-round knockdown and even staggering the eventual winner at various points in their fight. Matthysse scored eight knockdowns on the way to an eighth-round knockout of Corley.
Do their relative efforts against Corley and Alexander demonstrate that Matthysse is better than Maidana?
“In essence, yes, I am better than him. It’s very simple with Marcos. There’s no doubt that he’s a very big puncher. But his style of boxing is not classic. It’s ordinary,” ,” said Matthysse, who turns 30 in September.
“I am a more-complete fighter in my style of boxing than Marcos. I’m better at cutting off the angles, and I use the ring much more. I have more ring generalship.”
Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime
Photos by Tom Hogan, Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com