By Chris Robinson
In the 140-pound division, there is no fighter with as much momentum at the moment as interim WBC champion Lucas Matthysse.
Facing off with Mike Dallas Jr. inside of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night, Matthysse came through with a crushing first round knockout that seemed to send shockwaves throughout the boxing community.
Catching up the Argentinean’s countryman and fellow prizefighter Marcos Maidana recently, I asked for his feelings on Matthysse’s destructive performance.
“Great win for him.” Maidana said, speaking through his advisor Sebastian Contursi. “He’s proving [to be] one of the best in the world at 140 which it doesn’t surprise me because I’ve known him since his beginning in boxing.”
Earlier in the week, I had asked Matthysse if he was interested in fighting Maidana in the near future and he seemed apathetic, instead turning his focus to WBA/WBC junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia.
I asked Maidana if he was disappointed to hear such dialogue from Matthysse but he seems to be in the same boat.
“He’s campaigning at 140 [pounds] and doing well in that division while everyone knows that I cannot make that weight anymore,” Maidana explained. “That’s why I’ve been fighting as a welterweight for over a year now. “
Maidana has a little bit of a history with Matthysse dating back to their amateur days in Argentina and he explained their encounters in detail as best he could.
“I remember three out of the four times we fought they were give-and-take fights in which he out-boxed me first and then I [was] all over him,” said Maidana. “All good fights and close fights.”
There is a bevy of suitable and intriguing names floating around between 140 and 147 pounds yet Maidana has no doubt who he would like to be facing next.
“[Paulie] Malignaggi is the fight I want since I’ve said many times that my goal is to become a world champion again,” Maidana said, referencing the WBA welterweight titlist from Brooklyn.
“The other fights I was interested [in] were against Robert Guerrero and a rematch with Amir Khan but people know that they wouldn’t dare to face me,” Maidana added. “Paulie has been one of the few fighters that called me out and I’ve accepted the challenge. Now it’s up to my promoter to get it done.”