By Jason Kim: Undefeated light welterweight knockout artist Lucas Martin Matthysse (27-0, 25 KO’s) could find himself as one of boxing’s hottest commodities if he can take out former two division world champion Zab Judah (39-6, 27 KO’s) tonight in their fight at the Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey.
Matthysse, 28, is still largely an unknown to American audiences and this will be the first time for many boxing fans to see him. Judah, 33, is favored to win the fight because of his much better experience. However, Matthysse’s power is very real, and he fights with the same high pressure style as his fellow countryman Marcos Maidana (29-1, 27 KO’s).
It’s no coincidence that both fighters have a high percentage of knockouts. Some of it is favorable match-making, to be sure, but the other part is just the brute strength of the two. Matthysse punches really hard and has a way of chopping his opponents down with his big shots.
I wouldn’t put him in the same class as Maidana in terms of punching power, but he’s still very hard to fight because he throws a lot of punches and loads up on everything. Judah was once one of the best fighters in the light welterweight division. However, he wasted his potential by moving up to the welterweight division to chase paydays rather than continued success.
Judah’s career has been in a free fall since 2005, as that’s the point where Judah stopped winning fights against upper tier opposition. Judah has been steadily getting beaten since 2005, and has had to fight 2nd tier opposition to get any wins at all.
Tonight, Judah will be taking a major step by facing the dangerous Matthysse, and I’m not so sure that Judah will be up for the task. It doesn’t matter that he has been hand speed and overall boxing skills compared to Matthysse. The problem is that Judah doesn’t have the ability to fight hard for a full 12 rounds, and his chin and his skin around his eyes are weak spots for him.
Matthysse has obviously see Judah’s fights against Carlos Baldomir, Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Joshua Clottey and knows that Judah can be worn down by heavy pressure to the point where he folds in the latter part of the fight.
Matthysse doesn’t need to have great skills to beat Judah. All he’ll need is pressure, his power, and time. Judah will likely crumble the way that he’s done in the last five years anytime he’s been matched tough.