With many wondering what the point of a 141-pound catchweight is for the May 18 Showtime main event between Lamont Peterson and Lucas Matthysse, Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer has offered his official version of what it came down to.
In short, the IBF won't sign off on a "unification" between their belt (held by Peterson) and Matthysse's WBC interim junior welterweight title. Why Matthysse holds an interim belt in the first place is a whole other ball of wax, but he does.
"Both fighters wanted to fight for both belts, so there was no issue there. The IBF said that they do not recognize unification bouts with interim-belts. Then the approach was for Lamont to only defend his belt, or for Matthysse to only defend his belt - that was one possibility. Or have the IBF rule that they can fight for both belts and then the winner would have to decide within a week which belt he will keep. All of that was not acceptable. So we really had a choice of not doing the fight because of that or to do the fight and make it a non-title fight."
Schaefer goes on to correctly point out that the fight shouldn't really lose any value for fight fans or media, who often are quick to say that boxing's title belts don't matter. And he's right. It's an odd situation, but in the end, who cares? It's still a really good fight and I doubt anyone is truly less excited because of the one-pound catchweight.
Richard also leaves the door cracked a bit for the possibility of this being settled and the titles winding up contested at 140, but that sounds unlikely given what ESPN's Dan Rafael said about it in Thursday's chat:
Matthysse didnt want to give up his wretched WBC interim title. IBF, obviously, is not going to allow its title to be unified with an interim title. That makes sense. Peterson, OBVIOUSLY, wasnt going to give up his IBF title to fight for a crappy interim belt. Schaefer didn't give a damn, just wanted to get the fight on, so they did it at 141 with neither title. It's stupid and makes no sense and I blame Matthysse since the whole damn purpose of an interim is to get a shot at an actual title, which he would be getting with Peterson. He wanted to still be Garcia's mandatory, which is also stupid since Schaefer promotes three of the four guys and wants to match the Peterson-Matthysse winner with the Garcia-Judah winner. (Schaefer doesnt promote Judah but could easily make a deal.) So it makes no sense for Matthysse to be worried about an interim belt. Furthermore, if he were to lose to Peterson or win and still be Garcia's mandatory and the fight went to a purse bid his percentage is less than what he would get as an equal titleholder in a negotiated deal. Whole thing is just stupid but still a good fight.
So there you have two sides to this story. And again, AT THE END OF THE DAY, who cares? The fight's a good fight. Enjoy a good fight. You could have instead had two crappier fights.