Dallas Focused To Shock Matthysse, and The Critics

By Mike Coppinger

It's been a trying few years for Mike Dallas Jr.

After suffering his first and second pro losses in 2011 (consecutive defeats to Josesito Lopez and Mauricio Herrera, he endured a far worse 2012 outside of the ring. His father and cornerman, Mike Dallas Sr., died in November after losing his battle with Leukemia.

As the calendar turned to 2013, Dallas Jr. (19-2-1, 8 KOs) received a stroke of luck when Hank Lundy was forced to pull out of his Showtime main event with Lucas Matthysse (32-2, 30 KOs). Dallas Jr. readily accepted the challenge without hesitation for his first headline bout, but it's his first foray into the ring without his father in his corner and the odds are stacked against him.

Before I didn't have any experience, now i have more experience," said Dallas Jr., who is trained by reigning Trainer of the Year Virgil Hunter. "I'm going to be more smart in there and focus in the ring. Me and Virg have been working on a lot of things. I'll be in good condition come fight time."

Dallas Jr., 26, enters the ring with a heavy heart, but believes the loss will fuel him to the upset victory over one of the biggest punchers in the sport.

"I'm just gonna take my father with me in the ring and give it my all and get this "W" for him," said Dallas Jr. "This is my motivation. This is the first fight he ain't here, it just made me stronger. I know he would like to see my get this, and we talked about this all the time. i want to win a championship not just for me but for him also.

"I'm gonna get the win and shock a lot of people."

Mike Coppinger is a contributor to USA TODAY's boxing coverage. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by ddangerous on 01-10-2013

[QUOTE=chiguy91;12906589]:bigeyes: that worries me a little. although i'm confident in matthysse, things like that (family death and a smart trainer) can really motivate a man to dig down deep and beat the odds. we'll see what happens. still going with…

Comment by The Hammer on 01-10-2013

I bought ringside tickets for this one! :) I'm flying from Vancouver to Las Vegas on Jan 25 for a mini-vacation.

Comment by Hougigo on 01-10-2013

Emotion does play a huge factor sometimes.... not all the time though. Bryant Jennings murdered Koval when his dad died the week before....

Comment by Pan-Africanist on 01-10-2013

This is a great opportunity for Dallas. It's not an impossible task either. Matthysse's capable of getting out boxed.

Comment by chiguy91 on 01-10-2013

[QUOTE=ddangerous;12905864]This is a HUGE opportunity for Dallas. I love Matthysse, he is one of my top 5 favorites at the moment, but with Dallas having [B]lost his dad recently, and now also being under the tutelage of Virgil Hunter, I…

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