By Ben Jacobs
Last month Mexicoís Roberto ĎMassaí OrtŪz revealed to BoxingScene that he was in line to fight Lucas Matthysse on September 6.† A couple of weeks later the fight was officially announced by Golden Boy Promotions.† OrtŪz has been the WBC silver champion at 140lbs since June 2011 and is now looking to push on in the sport starting with a battle against the power punching Argentine.† The articulate Torreůn native took some time to speak once again to BoxingScene about the upcoming encounter in Cincinnati.
BoxingScene.com: Have you changed anything in your training for what is the biggest fight of your career?
Weíve been practicing a lot in the centre of the ring, a lot of counter punching, lateral movements and quick combinations, but all the time pressuring in the middle of the ring.† I know that Lucas will come out and put the pressure on so I also need to pressure him and fight in the middle of the ring.† I canít give him an advantage by going to the ropes, because then heíll take the imitative.† I canít let him think.
BoxingScene.com: Do you think people are underestimating you?
People donít know me and Iíve never fought in the United States.† Iím not a well known boxer there but I feel relaxed about it.† Heís got all the pressure; heís the big name fighter.† Itís going to be a big surprise for them.
BoxingScene.com: Have you studied Lucas Matthysse more since the fight was announced?
We know who he is; weíve been studying him for a while because we thought that a fight would possibly be made with him.† Heís one of the strongest in the division and as I always have said, if I want to be a world champion, I have to fight the best so this is a big opportunity for me.
BoxingScene.com: Were you surprised that he had problems against John Molina?
When I saw that fight, I realised heís not an unbeatable fighter, he can be beaten if you fight intelligently.† Heís been knocked down, Molina showed that.† I donít know if it was down to inactivity but I feel since the Danny GarcŪa fight his level has dropped slightly.† But you can never underestimate any opponent; I know what heís done in the sport.† Heís a great boxer with a lot of experience.† So Iíll go in there focused, looking for victory.† He has fought the best and been in wars, perhaps his body is feeling the effects of those wars and he has some defects in his defence.† When he throws he leaves himself open.† Heís a bit smaller than me so weíll be looking to maintain a distance and not let him get inside, also to move from side to side and counter punch him.† This is what weíve been working on in this training camp.
BoxingScene.com: Has there been a lot of media attention on you since the fight was announced?
Theyíve called me twice from Argentina and Showtime interviewed me about my life, when I started in boxing etc.† Here in my city the media have been contacting me because itís a big fight and a big opportunity for me.† Weíre looking to win this and then look for a world title fight and be known in the wider boxing world.
BoxingScene.com: Are you pleased that this fight is taking place in neutral territory?
I havenít really thought about it, I know itís important to fight in the US, Iíve never done it so itís like my debut and Iím excited and motivated for it.† Iím happy that my promoter has given me this chance.†
BoxingScene.com: Is the fight scheduled for ten rounds?
Iím not sure still if it will be ten or twelve rounds.† If itís ten rounds it changes things a little.† Weíll come out straight away and pressure that little bit more.† Iím preparing very hard, all the rounds Iíve done in training have been explosive to try and simulate what will happen on September 6, because we know Matthysse will come out explosive and try to dominate the rounds.† It will be an exciting fight.† We both have big knockout ratios so a knockout could happen at any time.† But weíre going in with the mentality that anything can happen so I have to be ready physically as well as mentally.† This is my ticket to the big leagues, we want to make history in this sport and I want to show that Iím not just an average fighter. I want to show that Iíve worked hard to get here and I want to go far and be a world champion.
BoxingScene.com: Matthysse has said that he wanted to fight Danny GarcŪa again, do you think he may not be concentrating 100% on you?
I donít know, Iíve heard that heís training hard for me, but we know that he might think that Iím just a guy from Mexico who hasnít fought outside his country, so maybe we have an advantage there, that heís not totally focused on me.† I have nothing to lose, he has all the pressure and any mistake he makes weíll try to take advantage of.
Tags: Lucas Matthysse , Roberto Ortiz , Matthysse-Ortiz , Matthysse vs. Ortiz