By Keith Idec
Lucas Matthysse didn’t allow two controversial split-decision defeats to deter him from agreeing to fight in the United States again.
“It wasn’t difficult at all because I know I won those fights, people know I won those fights,” Matthysse said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday, referring to debatable losses to Devon Alexander and Zab Judah. “When I was offered this opportunity, I was very happy to come back to the U.S. And what better way [than] to be fighting for the world title. So right away it was not something even to think about. I’m very excited and ready to go.”
Argentina’s Matthysse (28-2, 26 KOs, 1 NC) will meet Mexican legend Erik Morales (51-7, 35 KOs) for the vacant WBC super lightweight title on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Victor Ortiz undercard Sept. 17 in Las Vegas.
The Morales fight will mark Matthysse’s return following a 10-round split-decision loss to Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs) on June 25 in St. Charles, Mo., near Alexander’s native St. Louis. Judah defeated him by split decision in a 12-round championship elimination match Nov. 6 in Newark, N.J., near where the Brooklyn-bred Judah used to live in northern New Jersey.
“I’m not stressing [over] the judges,” Matthysse said. “I know that Vegas is very different. I hope it doesn’t happen the same as in the past fights, but I’m concentrating on preparing. I’m OK. I leave it in the hands of the judges.”
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has not yet assigned judges to the Matthysse-Morales fight.
Matthysse, 28, has fought almost exclusively in Argentina since he turned pro in June 2004. He is 1-2, with one no-contest, in four fights in the United States.
Despite his record in the United States, Matthysse determined this was a chance he couldn’t pass up.
“When the fight came up, [losing twice by split decision] wasn’t something to think about,” Matthysse said. “It was an opportunity for a world title, to fight Erik Morales. [We] all decided, ‘Let’s do it.’ It’s a great opportunity and we’re going there to win.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, NJ., and BoxingScene.com.