Editorials

“The Machine” Gears up for a Big 2015

Lucas Matthysse
Photo by Esther Lin/Showtime

A tremendous fighter who never steps down from dangerous opponents, Lucas “The Machine” Matthysse (36-3-0, 34 KOs) seems to crave blood, guts and glory.

He is known in the boxing world as a fearless fighter who is willing to die in the ring if he has to. In April of last year, Matthysse was part of an explosive fight of the year contender that shook boxing fans to their core.

Matthysse was up against John Molina (27-5-0, 22 KOs), with the vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Lightweight title on the line, at the StubHub Center in Carson, California–the home of many classic wars.

Matthysse would take the win against Molina after being knocked down twice in the fight, scoring his own knockdowns in rounds eight and 10. The fight could’ve easily been called “Bloodbath Galore” because of the bloody back-and-forth action.

No one was expecting Molina to take so much damage from Matthysse, much less knock him down twice in the fight. What was expected to be perhaps a one-sided fight ended up being one of the best fights of the year.

Matthysse returned in September against Roberto “Massa” Ortiz (31-1-1, 24 KOs) and beat him in the second round, ending the night early with a powerful body shot. The stoppage of the fight was controversial, since Ortiz managed to get up at the count of nine and referee Benji Esteves waived the fight off once Ortiz was on his feet at 10.

Ortiz should have gotten up sooner, but the body shot he absorbed certainly made him take extra time to recover. The early stoppage left fans craving more from Matthysse since they were ready to witness what could have been another war against Ortiz who at the time was the undefeated WBC Silver Light Welterweight Champion and had managed to defend the title in his five previous bouts.

2015 is young, but it already seems to be a promising year for boxing with a lot of potential for toe-to-toe matchups to be made.

So what does this year have in store for Matthysse?

To start off, he recently parted ways with powerful boxing advisor and manager, Al Haymon. Matthysse also signed a five year extension with Golden Boy Promotions.

As far as opponents, Oscar De La Hoya has confirmed that he is in talks for a possible matchup between Matthysse and former WBO junior welterweight champion, Ruslan “Siberian Rocky” Provodnikov (24-3-0, 17 KOs).

It will be interesting to see who Matthysse ends up fighting against and if he will get a shot at the title he so covets. He is determined to become a world champion and is looking at making this dream a reality in 2015.

Matthysse has been in incredible wars over the years, always giving boxing fans amazing performances. It would be great if a bout between Matthysse and Ruslan came to pass, especially if there is a title on the line.

Matthysse vs. Provodnikov has quickly become one of the fights that boxing fans have added to their wish list in 2015. This fight would be an absolute war, given the fact that both fighters have tremendous power in their punches.

Provodnikov is a brawler that likes to go toe to toe, and Matthysse, well he seems to be an expert at brawling and a good boxer as well.

If these two get to enter the ring against each other, Matthysse will likely have the upper hand due to the fact that he’s been in tougher bouts with more experienced fighters.

Matthysse recently gave his opinion (via Boxing Scene) on a potential matchup with the fierce Russian, sounding very confident in his assessment.

“Ruslan comes forward and I think it’s okay. He is strong but I think that I could beat him. I saw the fight where he lost with Chris Algieri, who moved a lot, but I think that if I plant myself I can beat him. Once he begins to feel my hands, the victory can be for me, he is a good opponent, and I’d like to fight him, but I think I’m smarter with my boxing.” -Lucas Matthysse

Matthysse has already started his training camp, with the location and opponent yet to be confirmed. But, it is almost certain that the opponent will end up being Provodnikov.

Ruslan is frightening, but he’s very raw and isn’t much of a boxer. He will certainly keep going forward and brawl like no other, but at the end of the day, Matthysse should score a win against Provodnikov with his superior boxing skills.

Matthysse does need to be careful and not continuously engage in a toe-to-toe brawl against Provodnikov, as this might get too dangerous.

Provodnikov seems to take punishment well and won’t be phased quite easily. His weakness seems to be his boxing skills, as he’s not a very good “technical” boxer. If Matthysse can take advantage of this fault, box his opponent and still hurt him with his massive body shots, then this should get the deal done.

Although, this still is a very high-risk fight and Provodnikov could end up hurting Matthysse in the early rounds, it’s guaranteed to be another bloodbath and perhaps one of Matthysse’s top performances.

 

Header photo by Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

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