Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday Matthysse mailbag

 

GARCIA-MATTHYSSE, FROCH-KESSLER II

Dougie,

If someone was watching Lamont Peterson for the 1st time; they would say it was an elite boxer in Lucas Matthysse vs a bum in Peterson. That’s how Lucas Mattysse made Lamont Peterson look. Peterson is world class; he took the bombs of Amir Khan and Victor Ortiz for 12 (and 10) rounds in their primes and probably won both of those fights IMO.

Thoughts on Matthysse vs Danny Garcia? (Not a blowout as many think it would be IMO; Danny chin hasn’t been cracked nor the zero on his record.) I think Showtime did an excellent job promoting and showing Danny during the fight. I’m super excited!

Next up: Kessler vs Froch. I believe Mikkel Kessler is hitting his peak once again and will use his superior jab and footwork to win a tight 12-round decision over Carl Froch. I just think Kessler has his number and will start out fast and win most of the early rounds and withstand Froch’s late rally; deja vu once again.– Frankie from the Bronx

I certainly will not count Kessler out in Saturday’s anticipated rematch. As I read Anson Wainwright’s Q&A with the Danish star and listened to the multiple 168-pound belt winner talk about the rematch during a media conference call last week, I couldn’t help but be swayed by his confidence. I was thinking the same thing you’re thinking, that maybe Kessler has Froch’s number and he knows it.

Then a friend of mine who grew up in and around boxing (Dean Familton) reminded me of how close their first fight was. Although I picked Kessler to win that bout and thought he deserved the nod, I agree with Familton that the bout easily could have gone the other way had it taken place outside of Denmark.

I also agree with Familton that Froch has improved since their first fight, whereas Kessler has regressed in some departments (mainly his defense). While I like the fact that Kessler is more than just a one-two specialist these days and that he’s sitting down more on his punches (especially with his hook and body shots), I can’t get too excited about the quality of his recent opposition (Allan Green is talented and Brian Magee is tough, but neither are “world-beaters”) and I can’t help but notice that “The Viking Warrior” is easier to hit now that he’s fighting more flat footed.

I’m not saying that Froch will have his way with Kessler. I think it’s going to be a hell of a fight, but I think “The Cobra” is more prepared, mentally and physically, for a high-caliber battle of attrition given the gauntlet he’s been through in recent years and the powerful form he’s shown in his last two bouts.

I think the crowd in London will elevate Froch to his absolute best and the Nottingham native will win a close but deserved unanimous decision in a memorable bout.

Thoughts on Matthysse vs Danny Garcia? It’s going to be one hell of a fight. It will probably land on the East Coast and it’s an event that I’ll gladly travel to cover live.

Like most fans and media, I favor Matthysse in that junior welterweight championship match, but like you, I don’t view it as a walk in the park for the Argentine Hammer. Garcia can also crack with both hands, plus he’s got the edge in hand speed and has decent footwork (which he’ll have to utilize – at least in spots). I view it as a competitive match and I don’t care much for all the venom hardcore heads have spewed at Garcia from the moment Peterson was stopped.

Folks are acting like Garcia has publicly stated that he has no intention of fighting Matthysse. I don’t think it’s fair to assume that he’s “scared” or that he wishes to avoid a stern challenge. Let’s see if the fight is made for the proposed Sept. 7 date before we pass judgment on anyone.

Regarding Matthysse’s knockout of Peterson, I hope there were veteran boxing observers around the first-time viewers to let the novice fans know that getting clipped by a world-class puncher like Matthysse does not make a fighter a “bum.” There are hall of famers and even all-time greats who have suffered early round knockouts. Floyd Paterson, the first two-time heavyweight champ in history, suffered three of them (one to Ingemar Johansson; two to Sonny Liston). Roberto Duran was iced in two rounds by Thomas Hearns, who was axed in three by Iran “The Blade” Barkley and fellow hall of famer Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

Everyone can’t have a chin like Hagler (never stopped in 67 bouts), Carlos Monzon (never stopped in 100 bouts) or Kid Gavlian (never stopped in 143 bouts). Boxing wouldn’t be as exciting or dramatic if everyone did.

LUCAS’S STATEMENT

Hey Doug,

Finally after Nonito Donaire’s disaster and Sergio Martinez looking terrible, one of my favorite fighter’s has come through and not by a squeaker but by absolutely destroying Peterson.

So what do you think? Will Matthysse’s performance have everyone jumping up in weight or will they just straight out dodge him?

140 and 147 sure does have some amazing potential match ups, now if the promoters can just keep lining them up.– Deryk, Ottawa

I think Golden Boy Promotions is going to make a sincere effort (with the help of Showtime and in some cases, Al Haymon) to mix and match their top 140- and 147-pound talent over the next 12-to-18 months. I think Top Rank will do the same with its smaller (but quality) group of junior welters and welterweights on HBO, which means we won’t see Garcia and Matthysse in against Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado any time soon, but we are going to get Maidana-Lopez and Pacquiao-Rios, probably Garcia-Matthysse and Alvarado-Rios III in the near future.

I think some junior welterweights will steer clear of Matthysse, but most of the top 140 pounders are like Peterson. They think they can be the best by beating the best. Garcia is young and proud. Even though Garcia’s the champ, I see him as a hungry up-and-comer who wants to prove himself to his many detractors. I don’t see him ducking anyone. Zab Judah already fought Matthysse once and he’s never been one to carefully pick and choose his opposition. Despite his frail chin, Amir Khan has never shied away from a challenge or heavy hitters.

Maybe I’m being overly optimistic, but I don’t think Matthysse will have to beg for worthy dance partners over the next year or two.

LUCAS “THE BEAST” MATTHYSSE

Okay, right to it, is Matthysse that powerful or Peterson’s chin that bad? I think it is a little of both. I can’t help but remember that Zab Judah never saw a strong punch that didn’t knock him TFO, but he went the distance with Matthyse and won (disputed or not), he went the distance with less than a stellar chin. Devon Alexander went the distance with Matthysse as well.

Against Peterson he looked like the second coming of Mike Tyson, I mean, he GRAZED him on the head and Peterson went down. I am not saying that Peterson was faking or took a dive, not even close, but that punch did not look hard. Once again, is Matthysse that powerful or Peterson’s chin that bad. Let’s not forget that EVERYONE drops Peterson early! Ortiz, Bradley, Khan and others. Peterson generally got up and fought back hard. I’m kind of saying that Peterson goes down early but then gets warmed up and acclimated to punches. I am not calling it a bad stoppage; it was good. I am just saying that maybe Peterson was the perfect opponent for him. ALL credit to Matthysse, I am not saying he is not for real, just saying that Peterson may have made him look more like Superman than he really is. Remember how Hatton made Pac look? Not saying Pac couldn’t crack.

But right now the spotlight is on Matthysse and for good reason, as Antonio Tarver said “we have to catch lightening in the bottle” when he wanted RJJ coming off of the Eric Harding KO. Mayweather never did it against Pac when he looked like a monster (I always think he would have won, but I digress, he never proved it). Garcia appears willing to tame him, and all power to him. He was in the front row proudly proclaiming to be the best, to be #1 and wanting Matthysse! Good for him, good for us. I am EXCITED about that match, to me, that is the best match in boxing. It is no secret that I am a Garcia fan, maybe it is the light-complected Philly thing, I don’t know, but the dude is a real fighter, a Philly fighter. I grew up with dudes like him. I hope his handlers don’t f__k this match up, now is the right time.

I have to say, as of right now, you would have to favor Matthysse, and that is all the more reason to praise Garcia if he makes the fight. I don’t know how Garcia would beat him at this point, Garcia is not all that fast, he is methodical and he is right there and does not run from a fight. He loves a dog fight, that might not serve him well, but that is why we watch the fights. Can Garcia show he is truly the man? If Matthysse wins that fight, he is a legitimate threat to Floyd Mayweather in my opinion, not saying he will win, but if he defeats Garcia after Peterson, he is a legitimate challenger because of his power and he would be the undisputed 140 pound champion moving up to take on the 147 pound champion. – JCB

That would be a PPV event that GBP and Showtime would have no trouble selling. Casual fans get excited about bona-fide punchers (as do a lot of us hardcore nutcakes). However, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Matthysse has to beat Garcia first, and like you, I think THE RING/WBC/WBA champ is a badass in his own right. I don’t think a Matthysse victory is a given in that fight, but I do favor “The Machine.”

Why? Because, as you stated, the champ from Philly is a fighter. He doesn’t run from a scrap. I’ll go on record now and declare that anyone who elects to stand and trade with Matthysse is getting KTFO or beat to hell (like Olusegun Ajose). The reason I favored Matty over Peterson was because of the IBF titleholder’s penchant for dog fights.

So, in that regard, Peterson’s style and temperament were tailor-made for Matthysse but the Argentine still exceeded expectations by getting the American out of there before the end of the third round. He was able to do that because: A) he’s world-class puncher, B) he knows when to punch and where to land (and sometimes the grazing shots that land high on the head are the most damaging in terms of equilibrium), and C) Peterson doesn’t have a world-class chin.

However, I must state that Peterson doesn’t possess abad chin. He’s not Amir Khan. He’s susceptible in the early rounds (like most fighters) but he can generally take a solid shot from a decent puncher. Matthysse is more than decent in the punching department and he’s improved his punch output since his controversial decisions to Judah and Alexander, both of whom used a lot of lateral movement to neutralize his aggression and contact.

No, Matthysse is not the second coming of Tyson, but he’s one of the best punchers among active fighters and it’s probably his other attributes (calm disposition, conditioning, ability to set up his power shots) that will ultimately earn him a place among the sport’s elite boxers.

Speaking of elite boxer, as much as I like Matty, I wouldn’t give him much of a shot against Mayweather, who is the “anti-Peterson” when it comes to ring mentalities.

MATTY-WOW!

Holy cr@p that was some knockout! How good would a Matty vs Maidana fight be?! Cheers. – Leo

That match is too good to witness as media. I’d have to forgo press row in favor of a cheap seat among real fans where I could drink beer and cheer for both badasses.

DOWN GOES PETERSON!

Wasup dude?! I watched a lot of boxing this weekend. The Wealth TV offering was okay to pass the time but nothing of real substance went down on those airwaves. I heard that Shane Mosley won his comeback fight. Good for him. I remember when Mosley was the man and had the world at his feet until we all witnessed Vernon Forest beat the “prime” out of him in their first fight. Alexander looked pretty good in my opinion. I have always been critical of Kevin Cunningham-trained fighters because it seems that all they throw is the One, Two! Devon showed a right hook, an uppercut and sported a bit of a mean streak Saturday night. Too bad he broke his hand. He may have gotten Purdy out of there the old fashioned way. Hope he gets Khan or Josesito Lopez if he beats Marcos Maidana.

On to Matthysse-Peterson: “The Machine” came out slowly but had adjusted by the end of the first round. It took him about two minutes and forty-five seconds to figure out that Peterson, though dead game, had nothing for him to worry about punching power wise. Peterson had the look of a guy who comes home from the local watering hole, goes into the bathroom to pay the water bill and realizes that he forgot to pull his pants down first!! I saw flies circling around his butt during the interview because Lucas had knocked the isht out of him! Maybe he’ll wear a Depends in the ring the next time he fights a guy that hits hard enough to swat a cruise missile out of the air. Matthysse is more than just a banger folks. He has quick hands, good timing and can adjust on the fly. Defensively his chin is pretty much it. He can be hit but ummm, it’s the RETURN fire that you have to worry about. Just ask Lamont EATerson!

(ps tell Phil that I never said that Bradley was a dime store version of Zab Judah. I said that Provodnikov made him LOOK like one with all of the stumbling around during their fight. Just so you know, I’m one of Bradley’s biggest fans. I think he was raised in the game the right way.) Holla back! – Fleetwood

Always a treat to hear from ya, Fleet.

“EATerson.” That’s just cold. LOL.

I’m also a Bradley fan. I thought he showed his elite potential with his unanimous decision over Peterson in 2009. That victory doesn’t look that special in comparison to what Matthysse did to the Washington D.C. native. (And there’s no doubt in my mind that the version of Bradley that fought Provodnikov would have been stopped by the fifth round by the version of Matthysse that took out Peterson.)

Does this mean that Matty is pound-for-pound worthy? I don’t know or care. I just know he’s one of the top two or three 140 pounders in the world and I like watching the guy fight. I agree with you that he’s more than a banger (and I’ve been saying that since before his fight with Alexander).

Speaking of Alexander, it looked like he got his mojo back on Saturday. I was impressed with his speed, snap and punch variety with just one arm. However, I gotta keep in mind that he wasn’t in the ring with Marlon Starling or Simon Brown. Lee Purdy has the defense and punch output of a common heavy bag.

Still, it was good for him to get a stoppage and I think it will encourage him to box more aggressively in his next fight, which I also hope is against either Khan or Lopez (if Josesito can get by Matthysse’s heavy handed countryman on June 8).

Mosley got the job done against Cano, who is tough and competent enough to give anyone hell, but he looked his age. He’s still game and durable — and he even had some quickness and snap on some of his shots – but his offense and reflexes have been dulled over time and he gassed out for periods during the fight (which was brisk and entertaining). I was impressed with Cano’s guts and ring generalship as well as Mosley’s will to close the fight as strongly as he could.

I don’t know what’s next for Mosley, but I hope it’s not the Malignaggi-Broner winner or Keith Thurman. Mosley would make for a good fight against the Maidana-Lopez winner, but I think the most interesting and potentially lucrative fight for the 41-year-old vet (and I never thought I’d say this) could be Erik Morales.

THE MACHINE

Hey Doug,

How are you? WOW, Matthysse really embodies his nickname “The Machine”. His performance was incredible considering that few people predicted that he would blow out Peterson so fast; everything he touches he destroys. Garcia probably was praying for Peterson to win and most likely soiled himself after witnessing such destruction. I love Danny Garcia, but I think he’ll give The Machine a fun fight right until he gets KO’ed in the mid-rounds and that’s taking into consideration his good chin.

If in fact he does get past Garcia, where do you see his career going? I think Mayweather-Matthysse can become the equivalent to a match against Canelo, in terms of public demand. Also, if the Argentine is able to translate his power to 147 it is a very intriguing match up. Mayweather would have to fight perfect fight –which he can – in order to win. But one small mistake against Matthysse can mean good night for anyone.

Based on Richard Schaefer’s reaction, “Matty” will likely receive a nice investment of time and money from Golden Boy to get his name out there. So to sum up:

What kind of potential you see for Luca’s career?

Do you think a Mayweather-Matthysse can happen? How do you see the fight playing out?

Thanks Doug. – Jose

I would need to see Matthysse beat a ranked welterweight (preferably a fast and crafty or slick boxer) – such as Kell Brook or maybe a rematch with Alexander – before I would give him any shot to beat Mayweather.

Right now, I give Matty no shot at unseating the Pound-for-Pound and welterweight king. Mayweather wouldn’t “fight” Matthysse. He’d box with the aim of neutralizing the puncher. And that’s it. He wouldn’t take any chances, and thus wouldn’t put himself in harm’s way. It wouldn’t be an eventful fight unless you’re a big Mayweather fan.

Also, I don’t think there’s anywhere near the public demand for Mayweather-Matthysse as there is for Mayweather-Canelo. Alvarez is a proven ticket seller (in more than one market) who has fought on major pay-per-view shows and is ready to headline his own PPV event. Matthysse is not. He doesn’t sell tickets and he’s only known by hardcore fans right now. In my opinion, Matthysse needs at least three more high-profile matchups on Showtime or on Showtime PPV cards – and he needs to win those fights in impressive fashion – before we can really start to talk about a potential Mayweather showdown.

Having said that, I think Matthysse’s career has a lot of potential. He’s a made-for-television fighter in one of the deepest divisions in the sport. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he just signed with Al Haymon and has GBP and Showtime in his corner.

I think the most important thing “The Machine” has going for his career is that he’s got more than a few potential rivals at 140 pounds (Garcia, Khan, Judah) and at 147 pounds (Alexander, Maidana, Malignaggi, Broner, Thurman) and those are fights than can be made.

 

 

Photo / Al Bello-Getty Images

Email Dougie at dfischer@ringtv.com. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer

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