By Miguel Rivera
Dangerous puncher Lucas Matthysse will make his debut in 2018 with a fight for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) "regular" welterweight championship, when he faces unbeaten Thai boxer Tewa Kiram (38-0, 28 KOs).
The fight will take place on January 27 at The Forum in Inglewood, in evening that will also see a WBA lightweight title fight between the pupil of the legendary trainer Freddie Roach, Mercito 'No Mercy' Mesta (31-1-2, 17 KOs), against the champion Jorge 'El Nino de Oro' Linares (43-3, 27 KOs).
"[Kiram] is unbeaten, he's strong, we've watched some videos, he's [ranked at] number one, so surely we have to respect him," Matthysse told Hoy Deportes.
Against the Thai puncher, it will be the second fight for Matthysse since he suffered a serious injury to his left eye in 2015.
On that occasion, he was stopped Viktor Postol when Matthysse (38-4, 35KOs) fought him for the vacant WBC super lightweight title. The injury to Postol kept him out of the ring for more than a year and he returned in 2017.
Two years earlier, in 2013, he had also suffered an eye injury in a twelve round decision loss to Danny Garcia.
And he wins his upcoming fight, he wants a rematch with Garcia - who is scheduled to return in February against Brandon Rios in Las Vegas.
"If I win this fight I would like to have a fight with Danny Garcia or with someone at the top, a very important fight. I would always like to have that rematch [with Garcia]," Matthysse said.
Last May, Matthysse faced Emannuel Taylor and beat him by technical knockout to capture the WBO International and WBA Intercontinental titles at welterweight.
"I had a break of eight months," said the 35-year-old boxer. "I felt good, I did a good preparation and I was working with Joel Diaz. With Joel you learn a lot. "
"Until the next year there will be no more barbecue (laughs). These are the kinds of fights that you can not let go and you have to take advantage of them by being 100%. I have a physical trainer who always cooks me and has me on a diet."