by David P. Greisman
John Scully (Lamont Peterson): “I think I’m going to go for a little bit of an upset and pick Peterson. Everybody’s high on Matthysse, and I know he’s very tough and everything, but I’m going to go with Peterson. I think Peterson is hungry. He was there before, and he wants to get back to the spot. I think he’s going to be putting his punches together. He’s going to be fast. And I think he’s probably going to run into some rocky moments, but I’ll pick him to win a decision.”
Sam Garcia (Lucas Matthysse): “I got Lucas Matthysse by knockout, maybe a stoppage. I think that he punches too damn hard. He’s an underrated boxer. He can put a lot of pressure on. He’s got underrated hand speed. I know Lamont Peterson’s pretty tough, but he’s fighting somebody who’s just a bone-crushing puncher. I think it’s kind of a pick ’em fight. If you look at their skills and strengths, Lamont Peterson would probably be slightly a little bit faster and would try to box a little bit, but I think Matthysse can also box if he has to.
“I think Matthysse’s learned his lesson from the Judah fight, in that while he’s fighting in the United States, no matter who the promoter is, he’s going to have to put the pressure on and get his guy out of there. I think he’s got a lot of confidence coming in. He feels like he’s a world champion. He’s fighting like he’s a world champion. I think he beats Peterson. I wouldn’t be surprised if the referee steps in, because Peterson’s so tough. He’s going to take some punishment, I think, and his trainers believe he also has power, so they’re not going to stop it. It’s going to be up to the referee to stop it.”
Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (no pick): “That’s going to be a hell of a fight. That’s going to be a hell of a fight. I can’t pick that one. That’s going to be a hell of a fight. Lamont can’t stand there and punch with him. He’s got to box him. You got a puncher like Matthysse, he can punch in bunches. It’ll be a good fight.”
Ronnie Shields (Matthysse): “Man, you know what? This is going to be a good fight. This is going to be one of the best fights of the year, I believe. You know what: I love Lamont Peterson, because I’ve been around the kid for so long, and watching him, and it’s hard to pick against this guy, but it’s tough, but I’m going to pick Matthysse by a close split decision.
“I just think Matthysse’s power is going to be there, and I think Peterson is going to have to really box a little bit more than he’s been boxing in his last few fights. He’s been putting pressure on guys, but I don’t think he’ll be able to do that with Matthysse. If he does, it’s going to be a great win for him, but I just think Matthysse might be a little too strong, and Matthysse will back him up, and Peterson will have to box a bit more. I just think the strength of Matthysse is going to be a little too much for him, but I don’t think Matthysse is going to knock him out. I really think it’s going to be a close fight, and Matthysse will do just enough to win.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at [email protected]