THE RING's No. 1-rated junior welterweight Lucas Matthysse says he is "eager to fight" entering Saturday's Showtime-televised clash with John Molina at The StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Matthysse (34-3, 32 knockouts), a 31-year-old puncher Argentina, was last in the ring last September when he was dropped in the 11th round of a unanimous decision loss to unbeaten RING junior welterweight champ Garcia. Matthysse's right eye was nearly closed shut by the end of the 12-round fight.
"I'm very eager to fight. Especially in the United States. I'm just ready to fight," said Matthysse, whom RingTV.com's insiders picked by a combined 30-4 to defeat Garcia. "It was a great fight, but it's already in the past for myself. However, if there is a chance and the opportunity to fight him one more time, of course, I would fight him."
Molina (27-3, 22 KOs), meanwhile, is 3-2 with three knockouts in his past five bouts, the first of which was a first-round stoppage loss to former titleholder Antonio DeMarco in September 2012.
Molina split his next two bouts, stopping Dannie Williams in the first round last January before falling by majority decision to Andrey Klimov in June.
A 31-year-old Southern Californian, Molina has knocked out his past two opponents, coming from behind to stop previously unbeaten Mickey Bey in the 10th round last July, and knocking out Jorge Pimentel in the second round last November.
"This not going to be an easy fight. This guy comes forward, and I'm expecting a good fight. This is a worthy opponent and he has a good record. He's got a lot of skills," said Matthysse.
"I am expecting a good fight. I'm training very hard for this fight, and every fighter wants a KO victory. But if it doesn't come, then I'm sure that I'm still going to win this fight. If the KO comes, then it's very welcome."
Matthysse has a 4-3 record, with four knockouts against six current or former titleholders, having floored all of them. Prior to facing Garcia, Matthysse scored three knockdowns during a third-round stoppage of IBF 140-pound beltholder Lamont Peterson last May for his sixth straight knockout victory in a non-title bout.
Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and advised by Al Haymon, Matthysse said that he expects to fight two or three more times at 140 before rising into the welterweight division.
"Eventually, I will move up to 147," he said," but I'm okay. I feel okay right now at this weight. So I think that I want to do this fight, plus, two more, and then, eventually, I'm going to move up to 147. As a matter of fact, in conversations, my promoter has promised me a title shot after this one against Molina. I want to win the the title at 140 one more time, and then I will move up to 147. But after Molina, they've promised me another shot at 140.
"First of all, this fight against Molina is more important than anything. But then, whatever champion is out there, WBC, WBO, IBF or WBA, I'm going get in there with a champion. But right now, I'm focused on Molina. But then, when I'm victorious, I'm going to challenge someone else in the 140-pound division. I'm going to fight this fight against John Molina, and then, probably two more at 140. Then, maybe at the end of the year, I will move up to 147."
Matthysse-Molina is sandwiched between a bout featuring welterweight boxer-puncher Keith "One Time" Thurman against two-time lightweight titlewinner Julio Diaz in the main event, and the opener between WBC lightweight titleholder Omar Figueroa Jr. and spolier Jerry Belmontes.
Translated by Ramiro Gonzalez, Golden Boy Promotions.