Is Lucas Matthysse being overhyped? Yeah, probably. Look, I think he should be undefeated, but I don't have any problem with the fact that Judah got the win over him. (I do have a sincere problem with the Alexander fight, which I thought was truly clear and a totally bogus hometown decision.) But Matthysse Fever has exploded due to wins over a natural featherweight in Humberto Soto, Olusegun Ajose, and Mike Dallas Jr. We're not exactly talking about the cream of the crop here.
What makes the love more logical is the fact that Matthysse has identified and done his best to correct the flaws he did have. He consciously avoids starting slow now, and as far as his skills go, he's underrated if anything. He doesn't have great defense or great hand speed or anything, but he's a very sound fighter overall. When you mix that in with very good power, you've got a fighter to be reckoned with.
Peterson, though, is an interesting case himself. Of all the top-level fighters out there, Lamont is one of the most resilient. He was really getting outfought by both Amir Khan and Victor Ortiz, but rallied in those fights to come back to even with both of them. He started a bit slow against Kendall Holt last time out, then crushed him. The only fighter to really smoke him was Tim Bradley, and even Bradley had to work for just about every round, albeit while winning just about every round, too.
I think this is a fantastic fight. All I'll say is I'll be surprised if either man dominates, and a stoppage either way -- a real one, not due to injury or the like -- would also surprise me, even given Matthysse's fearsome reputation as a one-punch deathbot. This is going to ge a damn good fight in every way. You ever just have that real big gut feeling? Draw.
It's not like it hasn't been mentioned or anything, but this is just a superb fight, just a good old-fashioned match-up between probably two from the top three fighters at 140 - or one pound north of that - and all credit to Golden Boy for putting it together.
As a result, it's genuinely not easy to call. Matthysse has been priced as the 3/1 betting favourite and there's every argument to say that's much too lopsided a take on things. Despite the long lay-off, Peterson looked terrific last time out against Holt and seems to have morphed into this bulldozer of an inside fighter. It works. Matthysse won't have to go looking for Peterson here, which will be just fine by him. We've seen Matthysse look good against more elusive guys, purer boxers, and ultimately lose, so it'll be fascinating to see how he reacts against someone who's not just unlikely to budge, but throws back with a ferocity and determination he hasn't seen before. We've also seen Peterson hurt by lesser punchers, although, given that 31/33 KOs stat, that's hardly much of a filter with Matthysse in the conversation.
I think this could end up looking a lot like Berto-Guerrero, but with a more definitive ending. And without a shoulder roll in sight. Matthysse TKO11.
How can anyone not be looking forward to this fight? I can't see it being bad, though it does have some huge expectations to fulfill. I think the early rounds will consist of Matthysse applying heavy pressure while Peterson attempts to circle him as much as possible, not allowing Matthysse to sustain an attack. Matthysse will land some glancing shots that may have the crowd saying "Ohhhh!", but nothing terribly effective. As the rounds progress, I think Peterson goes downstairs more and sets up an effective jab. Matthysse's workrate decreases a little while Peterson's picks up. It's a close fight down the stretch with Peterson landing more frequently and with greater accuracy in the championship rounds. Peterson by close decision.
Peterson vs. Matthysse looks like a great fight on paper, both like to come forward and both hit with authority, although Matthysse is the heavier handed. Peterson has been dropped numerous times before but has always shown the heart to get up and has never been stopped.
The fight could well come down to how well Peterson can take Matthysse's shots, if he can take his shots, then Peterson is the pick on points. Personally, I feel Matthysse hits too hard for Peterson and I can see him scoring multiple knockdowns on the way to a late rounds stoppage. Matthysse TKO9
Final Tally: Lucas Matthysse 2, Lamont Peterson 1, Draw 1.