On Saturday, May 18, IBF light welterweight champion Lamont Peterson will meet hard-hitting Argentinian Lucas Matthysse at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
This will definitely be one of the most eagerly anticipated matchups of the spring and a potential fight of the year bout. The winner of this bout will land directly in the line of fire for a possible Floyd Mayweather Jr. matchup at some point down the line.
The loser will be forced to regroup, but will have the benefit of being smack dead in the middle of three different weight classes that are stocked with prime competition.
The fight will take place at 141 pounds, meaning Peterson’s IBF title will not be on the line, and it ensures that Matthysse who is an interim belt holder himself, would still be in line for a possible showdown with Danny Garcia.
Both fighters come into this bout hungry to prove a point and get their names squarely in the mix for a number of possible high-caliber fights.
Matthysse comes into this bout having never fought in a world title fight. Matthysse definitely is a well-established name in the junior welterweights, but all his past title fights have been for the interim belts only.
He enters the bout with a 33-2 record, and 31 knockouts. He is a tough, powerful fighter with polished punching skills. The 30-year-old punches to do damage, and if he lands the type of shot he’s looking for, it usually ends badly seeing as though 31 of his 33 wins are by stoppage.
In each of his losses, both highly disputed contests against Zab Judah and Devon Alexander, Matthysse was simply unable to land the shots he wanted, and those fights went to the scorecard.
The Alexander loss is still considered a robbery by most boxing experts, and there are some who consider him still undefeated.
The 29-year-old Peterson comes into the fight with plenty to prove. Hi is still trying to bounce back from the PED scandal that marred his victory over Amir Khan in December 2012, and he started his redemption tour by destroying Kendall Holt this past February on ESPN.
Against Matthysse, Peterson must utilize his excellent boxing skills, speed, ring smarts and fight with poise. Whatever chin Peterson, will be put to the test Saturday night.
Peterson has world-class power, but will want to pick and choose his spots, while maintaining head movement, and staying away from shots that can get him Pacquiao’d.
Both fighters have a habit of starting slow, but it will be imperative for Peterson to try to assert his fight early. Peterson’s reach advantage could be significant in this fight.
Peterson will also need constant movement, avoid being flat-footed, and assert his jab to keep Mattheysse at bay. Peterson was asked about Matthysse’s punching power yesterday during the final press conference, and seemed to dismiss it.
I’m not sure because I normally don’t worry about anybody’s punching power before the fight. I understand that it’s boxing and I’m going to get hit. So I just don’t worry about it. That’s something that’s a given. If I get hit hard or not, that really doesn’t make a difference to me. I’m willing to take any shot that anybody can give out.
At some point in the fight, Matthysse will try to assert himself, and at that point, we will see what Lamont Peterson is made of.
Peterson will need to score and then try to fend off the Matthysse fierce assault. Lamont Peterson may even hit the canvas at some point during the fight.
He should maintain his poise and continue to ward off Matthysse’s attack.
This is not an easy fight to predict, so I won’t.
Lamont Peterson will have to stay disciplined to win. Matthysse can win by simply turning it into a brawl, but he’s also skilled enough to box with Peterson.
In the end, this should be a war, a fight of the year possibility, and win or lose, a rematch needs to happen.
I will be in attendance covering the fight for BlackSportsOnline, as well as live Tweeting the event. @BlkSportsOnline will also provide his normal spotless side commentary.