Thomas Mattice prefers to let his hands do the talking rather than his mouth.
Mattice will face unbeaten Christian Tapia tonight at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. The 10-round bout will precede the main event bout between unbeaten junior welterweight Montana Love, who also resides in Cleveland, and Australia’s Steve Spark.
Both fights will stream live on DAZN (8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT).
The 32-year-old Mattice (19-3-1, 15 knockouts) last fought on September 3, breaking down Eduardo Pereira Dos Reis before stopping him in the third round. In his previous fight on May 21, Mattice knocked out former unbeaten prospect Jessie Cris Rosales with one punch in the opening round.
Both fights took place after Mattice dropped a close and questionable unanimous decision to once-beaten Luis Melendez on November 5 of last year.
A lot is on the line for Mattice, who has appeared on a handful of ShoBox telecasts and has wins over Michael Dutchover and Rolando Chinea. Mattice wants to make a statement at the expense of Tapia.
“I don’t want to talk too much, I’m just ready to handle business,” said Mattice at Thursday’s press conference. “My mind is on hurting someone and that’s it.”
Vick Green, who promotes Mattice, is confident Mattice can come out victorious and is hoping 2023 will be the year Mattice faces the best junior lightweights in the division.
“This is a great fight for Thomas,” Green told BoxingScene Friday morning. “This is the opportunity we’ve been looking for to build from. He will be victorious Saturday and we are looking for names at 130 pounds.”
Tapia (15-0, 12 KOs), who resides in Coamo, Puerto Rico, defeated Mario Sayal Lozano by unanimous decision in his last bout on July 23. The 28-year-old has won his last two fights by decision after stopping his previous eight opponents.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing