By Chris Robinson
On Saturday, Jan. 26, inside of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, interim WBC junior welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse (33-2, 31 KO’s) made short work of Mike Dallas Jr., (19-3-1, 8 KO’s), chopping him down in under one round.
After taking his time to study his opponent, Matthysse connected on Dallas with a thudding right hand and a follow-up left that had his 26-year old foe out on his face and unable to continue.
Matthysse now looks towards bigger bounty, but it remains to be seen if the 30-year old Argentinean will get the bouts he desires most. For several months, Matthysse has called for a match with WBA/WBC champion Danny Garcia, who is presently scheduled for a Feb. 9 date against former champion Zab Judah.
Catching up with WBA welterweight champion and Showtime analyst Paulie Malignaggi after the bout, I got his take on Matthysse’s victory and what his future may hold.
Read below for some of Paulie’s thoughts.
[Reader’s note: Following my interview with Malignaggi, it was reported by BoxingScene.com’s Mike Coppinger that Garcia very well may be days away from pulling out of his contest with Judah]
A brutal knockout…
“Matthysse can punch, man. We already knew that going in. I really think if Dallas hadn’t got caught with such a big shot early, he could have held a good account of himself. I thought he was trying to establish his jab. He seemed a little bit too excited but he seemed very fast. It seemed as if he got into the fight, he could have been good for a few rounds before maybe Matthysse could have gotten to him. But that’s what happens when a guy hits that hard. You land clean and the lights go out. It was tough. It was a brutal knockout and a knockout that allowed Lucas Matthysse to make a statement. Mike Dallas just happened to be on the end of it.”
Hearing about Lucas Matthysse…
“I’ve been hearing about Lucas Matthysse since he knocked out Vivian Harris a few years ago. I remember seeing that fight on the interment, because it wasn’t televised in the US I don’t think. Vivian is a friend of mine. I remember, I think they stopped it too fast. Vivian had landed some good shots and they stopped it. So I thought ‘I don’t know, does this guy hit really that hard?’ and Vivian was like ‘Yeah he hits hard. And Zab fought him, and it was close, and Zab [was saying] that’s the hardest puncher he’s ever fought. Little by little and you start to see more of this Matthysse guy and he’s starting to knock everybody out and he’s starting to make more of a name for himself to the point where he’s becoming more and more in demand against top fighters. He’s got a fan-friendly style. People love knockouts. A guy like this, you want to see him against anybody.”
Zab Judah’s chances against Danny Garcia…
“It’s a good matchup, because Zab is fast enough to pose some problems for Danny. I think speed will bother Danny. The problem is, can Zab show the consistency that Danny has shown? Danny’s unappreciated because people don’t appreciate the consistency that he’s shown. He may not be the fastest, he may not be the strongest, although he’s very strong, and he may not be the prettiest boxer, but at the end of the day, the consistency that he shows in his fights from one to twelve or shorter, gets him the win. Because he breaks a guy down and he gets to you. One thing that Zab has not shown in his career, he’s shown a lot of talent, but he hasn’t shown consistency. That makes the matchup intriguing. If Zab wins it, it would be interesting to see him and Matthysse in a rematch.”
Why everybody wants to see Matthysse vs. Garcia…
“If Danny wins [against Judah], everybody wants to see Danny against Matthysse. Do they make it? I don’t know. Everybody wants to see that fight. It’s hard. You can say ‘Matthysse is strong’ but at the same time, people keep picking against Danny and what does Danny do? He keeps knocking them dead. Really, it’s a hard fight to pick. And a lot of firepower. And they are two guys, when they are fighting, they do not change their facial expression. I love that. I love a poker face. I love a good poke face, even when a guy takes a shot or a guy’s landing. I think it’s a great fight. It’s an explosive fight and if they don’t make it, it’s a shame. But, don’t count Zab out. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. That’s a good fight, Danny and Zab.”