Did Matthysse Dominate His Way Out of the Money?

There is no other way to put it… Lucas Matthysse (34-2) simply dominated Lamont Peterson (31-2-1), a world class titlist who is well respected and has many quality wins. Matthysse, who arrived late in the United States and even though he was the slight favorite with many boxing experts (including this one, although the word “expert” is used lightly) picking Peterson, knocked down his opponent three times and scored a third round knock out. By doing so, Matthysse confirmed his reputation as one of the two or three most feared boxers on the planet and stamped himself as no worse than the second best junior welterweight in the world. That said, is it possible that he has put himself in a position to be excluded from a big money fight in the near future?

Prior to the Matthysse-Peterson bout, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer stated that the winner of the fight would face WBC junior welterweight titlist and recognized number one fighter at 140 pounds, Danny Garcia (26-0). However, such a fight may not be good business for Garcia.

For a fight with Matthysse, a bout which would air live on Showtime and not on pay per view, Garcia would likely be offered around $1,000,000 to $1,500,000. That would be a career high pay day for the Philadelphia boxer and is not money that is lightly turned down. Garcia is advised by the most powerful man in boxing, Al Haymon, who also backs Floyd Mayweather (44-0) and Matthysse. Haymon will want to get his man the biggest pay day possible.

The biggest pay day in boxing, as we all know, is a bout with Mayweather. It has been said here previously, that Mayweather will be looking for a fall opponent if (and more likely when) a fight with Canelo Alvarez does not happen (http://insidefights.com/2013/05/13/is-mayweather-canelo-ready-for-september/). Should Garcia’s number be called for a Mayweather bout, he stands to make $3,000,000 or more, an amount double or triple he would make to face Matthysse.

Quite frankly, a loss to Mayweather is a lot more respectable to Matthysse and a lot more profitable. A win puts him in the superstar pay per view class. Thus, Garcia would much prefer a bout with Mayweather. Haymon, who controls all three guys, knows this and, more importantly, knows this is the way to maximize the revenue from Garcia. He could potentially find a way to maximize Matthysse’s earning potential another way.

Matthysse’s second option for a big pay day would be against Amir Khan (28-3). The British superstar has already stated a preference to move to welterweight to face Devon Alexander (25-1) who won on the Matthysse-Peterson undercard and injured his left hand. Khan, with his fragile chin, would most likely take his chances against the light hitting Alexander than the monster punching Matthysse. Thus, this is another big money fight Matthysse will probably not get.

That said, maybe Matthysse has a shot at getting the winner of the June fight between WBA welterweight titlist Paulie Malignaggi (32-4) and former junior lightweight and lightweight titlist Adrien Broner (26-0). If Malignaggi wins, he may work himself into the Mayweather picture, which helps Matthysse get the bout with Garcia. However, if Broner (who will probably compete at junior welterweight following the Malignaggi fight) , also with Haymon wins, the above still applies and Haymon will likely prevent a fight between Matthysse and Broner. It doesn’t make a whole lot of business sense to put a potential superstar in Broner in with a bigger Matthysse who is an absolute monster.

At that point, Matthysse is without a marquee opponent. The only other top-level guy availabe at 140 pounds is Mike Alvarado (34-1), but the Top Rank-Golden Boy fued would prevent such a fight. The same applies to titlist Khabib Allakhverdiev (18-0).

The only fighters left available at junior welterweight for a potential fight with Matthysse are Zab Judah (42-8), in a rematch, and Joan Guzman (33-1-1), who is persona-non-grata to television networks. It seems that Matthysse’s best shot to make big money is to hope Mayweather-Canelo gets made or that Malignaggi beats Broner. Both, it says here, are long shots.

With that landscape, a move to welterweight may be necessary for Matthysse. Potential opponents in that division include the winner of the Marcos Maidana (33-3) – Josesito Lopez (30-5) bout, the winner of the July Andre Berto (28-2) – Jose Soto Karass (27-8-3) fight, Robert Guerreo (31-2-1) and Victor Ortiz (29-4-2). These fights would probably not be attractive to Matthysse because he has said he wants to stay at 140 pounds and these fights would not bring a bigger pay day than the $700,000 he received for the Peterson bout. That even goes for what would be a fight against Maidana which would pit Argentina’s number two fighter against its number three fighter (middleweight champion Sergio Martinez is obviously the country’s number one boxer).

Thus, Matthysse has fought and won himself into a very tough position. Boxing fans hope he gets the big fight because he makes great fights and has looked spectacular. It remains to be seen if the business of boxing allows that to happen.


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