By Jake Donovan
If this is the year of crazy scoring, then consider Lucas Matthysse way ahead of the curve. The Argentine banger has lost just twice in a 33-fight career, though there is a strong case to be made that he still deserves to be undefeated.
Matthysse was unbeaten though a bit unproven and perhaps raw when he traveled to Newark, New Jersey in Nov. ’10 to face former two-division champ Zab Judah, born and raised about 45 minutes away in Brooklyn. A slow start turned out to be his undoing, as not even a late-round knockdown could land him on the glory side of a split decision.
Seven months later, Matthysse (30-2, 28KO) once again found himself in hostile territory. Devon Alexander was rebounding from a points loss to Tim Bradley earlier in the year and tapped Matthysse’s shoulder as the comeback opponent of choice.
It almost turned out to be a terrible mistake. Alexander was dropped early and considered fortunate by many to escape his St. Louis hometown with a majority decision.
In both instances, Matthysse’s opponents went on to bigger and better things. Judah fought and beat Kaizer Mabuza for a vacant 140 lb. title. Alexander topped Matthysse’s countryman and old amateur rival Marcos Maidana, settting up a potential summer title shot with recently crowned welterweight beltholder Randall Bailey.
On the outside looking in is Matthysse, who takes on Humberto Soto (58-7-2, 34KO) this weekend in Los Angeles. The bout – which serves as the co-feature for this Saturday’s telecast on SHOWTIME – is a sanctioned #2 eliminator, which means the winner will most likely face Ajose Olusegun to determine who gets to wait the longest for a title shot that might never come.
A win on Saturday would be by far the biggest of Matthysse’s career, though he believes he is the proud owner of two high-profile victories.
“Those were both very difficult fights to have to adjust to them and change the way I fight. I know I won both those fights,” Matthysse continues to believe. “Deep in my heart, I know it. It did hurt me, but we've got to come back stronger and I know we are ready for bigger and better things.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox