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Matthysse vs Kiram: Fight preview and matchup

Lucas Matthysse returns to take on Tewa Kiram on Saturday. Is this a dangerous fight or not?

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Lucas Matthysse

Lucas Matthysse v Emmanuel Taylor Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Record: 38-4 (35 KO) ... Streak: W1 ... Last 5: 4-1 ... Last 10: 8-2 ... Stance: Orthodox ... Height/Reach: 5’6½” / 69” ... Age: 35

Thoughts: Like most red-blooded fight fans who love a good bit of true violence, I enjoy Lucas Matthysse. He comes to fight, he comes to knock people out, and he’s got a lot of power.

This will be his second fight at 147 pounds, after moving up to the division last May and stopping Emmanuel Taylor, a solid fighter, in the fifth round. I think this may be a bit tougher a test, but I’ll dig into that more in the section on Tewa Kiram next.

One thing I want to mention: Matthysse is 35 years old. He’s no spring chicken, and we’ve almost surely seen the best he has to offer. In all candor, he doesn’t strike me as someone who’s going to become a serious contender at 147 pounds, as much fun as I think it could be to match him with some of the division’s best, even in likely losing efforts.

My gut feeling is he loses before the conversation of how to get a Golden Boy fighter in the ring with a Haymon fighter for a title even really begins. It could be this fight. It could be a different fight. And it’s tough for Matthysse, too, because Golden Boy just doesn’t really have anyone at 147 for him to fight. If he were with the PBC group, he’d probably be fighting someone with a bigger name to start 2018.

Tewa Kiram

Lina Baker/SeeYouRingside Photography

Record: 38-0 (28 KO) ... Streak: W38 ... Last 5: 5-0 ... Last 10: 10-0 ... Stance: Orthodox ... Height/Reach: N/A ... Age: 25

Thoughts: I hadn’t seen much of Kiram, aka Teerachai Kratingdaenggym, before looking at some YouTube footage to talk about him here.

He can punch. He’s not the slickest guy in the world, to say the least, but then neither is Matthysse. I think Kiram is certainly good enough to be dangerous — that is, at least if he’s tough enough to withstand a likely early blitz from the better-known Argentine fighter.

Size is worth mentioning here. Kiram is a natural welterweight, having fought at 147 his entire career, which started in 2008. I don’t know his height and reach dimensions, but in his fight against Vladimir Baez, he’s the clearly bigger man. Baez is a natural 140-pound fighter, like Matthysse, and BoxRec lists him with a height of 5’8½”, or two inches taller than their listing for Matthysse. Kiram looks big and sturdy compared to Baez in that fight — thick, almost, especially at 147, with big legs and a fairly large upper body, too. Kiram knocked Baez out in the fourth round, for what it’s worth.

But Baez and guys like that are the level at which Kiram has maxed out thus far, too. Listen, there’s reason to think that this Thai fighter might be plenty dangerous in this matchup. He looks like the bigger man, he has some power, and he’s 10 years younger than Matthysse. But until he proves he can fight at this level, in this fight, then he’s no more than a wild card. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just a thing.

Matchup Grade: C+. I flirted with just not giving this one a grade, because footage of Kiram is somewhat limited, and more than that, footage of him fighting at a top level just doesn’t exist, because he hasn’t. But I think there’s something here, just based on what I’ve seen of Kiram and the size and age factors. Maybe Matthysse wrecks him up. But maybe we’ve got the next Srisaket Sor Rungvisai on our hands, but at 147.

Undercard

  • Jorge Linares vs Mercito Gesta: I know he’s been on a good roll over the last five-plus years, but Linares (43-3, 27 KO) is vulnerable against anyone who can get to him. He cuts fairly easily (and badly) and he’s been stopped three times by fighters who without question weren’t on his skill level. Gesta (31-1-2, 17 KO) is a 30-year-old fighter looking to finally live up to early hype, when as a Filipino southpaw during the height of Pacmania, he was of course compared to Manny. His lone loss came to the very tricky Miguel Vazquez back in 2012, but he also drew with Carlos Molina in 2015. Maybe Gesta can pull this upset — I don’t count Linares as anywhere near unbeatable for obvious reasons — but chances are that Linares’ streak continues. Grade: C-

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