By Jake Donovan
You have to give credit to Humberto Soto and Lucas Matthysse for knowing their role.
The two are slated to square off in a super lightweight bout that is highly anticipated on the sport’s cult level. Their 12-round title eliminator serves as the co-feature to a SHOWTIME-televised card topped by a welterweight battle between Victor Ortiz and Josesito Lopez.
Neither Soto nor Matthysse pretend that their bout is expected to be a tactical chess match. Many expect the fight to steal the show – and thankfully, so do the combatants.
“Matthysse is a good fighter,” Soto (58-7-2, 34KO) acknowledges of this weekend’s bout. “He’s going to stay in there and he is a smart fighter. We are going to go toe-to-toe.”
Soto’s opponent is in agreement at least on the toe-to-toe part.
“Humberto is coming to fight,” Matthysse (30-2, 28KO) believes. “He wants a war and that makes me happy because we’re coming to give him a war.”
Both fighters are predicting knockout, a bold proclamation considering that between them there exists just one stoppage loss in 100 combined fights. That moment came when Soto was just 20 years old, poorly managed and thrown in the ring with any given opponent on any given night.
Well over a decade later, Soto is a seasoned veteran looking to make up for lost time. The 32-year old never managed to fully capitalize on the win that put him on the boxing map, when he upset then-unbeaten Rocky Juarez back in 2005. He has remained steady and active in the ring, but seemingly on the outside looking in when it came time for the biggest fights to be made.
Now calling his own shots (for the most part), Soto gladly accepted the challenge offered by Matthysse. There are far less dangerous ways to make a buck and earn a living.
The same could be said of Matthysse, whose only two losses have come on the road and via disputed decisions. Still, they trump his biggest wins, none of which are of the notable variety.
A victory over Soto would change that, a fact not lost on the former three-division titlist.
“There is no doubt Lucas is a strong opponent and a strong fighter,” Soto admits. “He comes forward and always looks for a fight. The difference in this fight is the experience. I have a lot of experience, and that’s what’s going to lead me to victory.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox