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Schaefer: No Issue With Matthysse-Morales WBC Bout

By Keith Idec

Richard Schaefer isn’t about to apologize because the WBC has approved Lucas Matthysse-Erik Morales as a fight for the Mexican sanctioning organization’s 140-pound title.

“The WBC ruled that the belt was vacant,” Schaefer, chief executive officer for Golden Boy Promotions, said. “It wasn’t our ruling; it was the WBC’s ruling. And I believe that Erik Morales, based on the tremendous performance that he put forth in his last fight [against Marcos Maidana], and that Lucas Matthysse, based on the performances he has put forth, that this is certainly a fight that deserves to be fought for a world title.”

The WBC sanctioned Matthysse-Morales as a title fight after declaring undefeated Timothy Bradley as its super lightweight “champion in recess.” Bradley (27-0, 11 KOs, 1 NC), of Palm Springs, Calif., won the WBC crown from Devon Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs) in a championship unification fight Jan. 29 in Pontiac, Mich.

Bradley hasn’t fought in the six-plus months since winning that bout and is involved in litigation with his co-promoters, Gary Shaw and Ken Thompson. He isn’t expected to fight until that contract dispute is resolved.

Despite Bradley’s inactivity and the fact that Matthysse-Morales should be an entertaining, competitive fight, the WBC’s decision to make Matthysse-Morales a title fight drew criticism from fans and the media.

Mexico’s Morales (51-7, 35 KOs) is rated No. 2 in the WBC’s 140-pound rankings. Argentina’s Matthysse (28-2, 26 KOs, 1 NC), who is promoted by Golden Boy, is rated No. 5.

“When these two fighters were presented with the opportunity by the WBC, they of course immediately embraced it,” Schaefer said. “The way I understand it is that Timothy Bradley, he’s currently in some legal dispute with his promoter and it looks like his career is currently on hold. But the WBC did not strip him. I think they gave him opportunity, that when he has resolved his issues he would have an opportunity to fight the winner [of Matthysse-Morales] or whoever is going to be the champion by then.

“I was out of the country for a week, but I haven’t read anywhere that Bradley’s issues have been resolved. So those two guys are going to fight for the vacant title. So be it.”

Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, NJ., and BoxingScene.com.

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