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Feb 24th
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Home Boxing 140lb RECAP
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140lb RECAP


lucas-matthysse-vs-ruslan-provodnikovWith 3 major fights,last Saturday, I have to say, I am happy with the results of all 3.  Not just as a fan of all the winners, but of the results being without any controversy.  Some will say Ruslan Provodnikov deserved the decision against Lucas Matthysse, but they are wrong.  It was a great fight... probably not fight of the year, but very entertaining nonetheless.  However, Provodnikov will continue to lose close decisions like this to top fighters, if he doesn't move his hands more, and sharpen up his defense.  Matthysse clearly outlanded Provo, often controlled the pace, and generally it seems Ruslan's plan is simply to get outworked and steal the round with big punches.  

That plan is fine, if he hurts his opponents, but more often than not at this level, he is not doing so.  He is still vital, and should probably face Rios in another guaranteed slugfest, but he is out of the title picture for now.  Great win for Matthysse, and onward and upward he goes.  A rematch would be fine, but all it would do is delay Broner from having to face anyone real.  Peterson and Garcia are likely gone, and Jessie Vargas is one tough opponent away from being forgotten.  Crawford would probably beat all 3 of them, so something needs to happen between Matthysse and Broner now, if it is ever going to happen.  

Terrance Crawford does not look dominant over the good offensive fighters he faces (Dulorme and Gamboa), but he knocks them out.  He dominated the durable ones like Beltran and Burns, but could not stop them.  It would seem that the ideal opponent to give Crawford trouble, is an offensive minded fighter with a good chin.  Matthysse seems the best candidate.  Provo would not move his hands enough.  Crawford - Rios is not a bad consolation prize, and would be another name scalp on Crawford's resume, but I'd rather see him become top dog BEFORE cleaning out the division.  That only happens with a win over Broner or Matthysse, and I have a feeling Broner's marketability will not survive through a defeat like the Argentine's already has, therefore we are more likely to see Crawford-Matthysse.

For Dulorme, the offensive ability is definitely there, but the punch receptivity is not.  He also does not fight well when hurt, and that will ultimately prove his undoing.  Crawford is many wonderful things in boxing, but a guaranteed finisher he has not been.  However, he seemed to finish off the Puerto Rican with no problem. It's not as if chinny fighters don't sometimes become champions, but Dulorme is surrounded by fierce competition.  He may win a belt some day, but all the hype surrounding him has dissipated.  

Post-script: We have also seen the exit of JC Chavez Jr as a threat at 175lbs.  Good riddance to bad rubbish.  Chavez was always a product of hype and name.  His middleweight belt was manufactured.  He, like his father, won many fights he did not deserve, is a complainer to referees, and quit on his stool, after suffering one knockdown.  Far from the relentless machismo we would expect from a Mexican warrior.  At least Chavez Sr had the talent to compete at the highest levels of the sport.  In all fairness, this was one hell of a step up in both weight and class for JC, but where does he go now? He would drop down to 168lbs, but that division is full of people who would easily outclass him.  Stick an fork in him.  He's done.

Chris Strait

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