Virgil Hunter helping Dallas Jr. prepare for Matthysse
By Jason Kim: On January 26th, we’re going to see how magical trainer Virgil Hunter when his fighter Mike Dallas Jr. (19-2-1, 8 KO’s) faces WBC interim light welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse (32-2, 30 KO’s) for his title at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, The Joint, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
This is going to be a real test to see the genius of Hunter at work because his fighter Dallas Jr. is over-matched on paper by the stronger Matthysse, and it’s going to take a special training job by Hunter for Dallas Jr. to win.
Dallas Jr. said “Virgil is the master when it comes to game planning for a big fight…Matthysse has been beaten before and I’m confident I can beat him.”
I have a lot of respect for Hunter as a trainer because he’s done a great job on guys like WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward, but I don’t think Hunter infallible and it takes talent for him to really work his magic. He can’t take a flawed fighter and turn him into Andre Ward. With Dallas Jr., he’s already been exposed in losses to Josesito Lopez and Mauricio Herrera.
Those two losses occurred in the last couple of years, and while Dallas Jr. hasn’t lost since 2011, it’s still a big ask for him to be able to defeat a big puncher like Matthysse without the power to stand and trade with him.
Both of Matthysse’s losses occurred on controversial decisions to Zab Judah and Devon Alexander when he went to their home towns and ended up losing what many boxing fans feel were hometown decisions. Matthysse learned his lesson from that experience and he’s not fought in anyone else’s hometown since and he’s done well, winning his last four fights in a row.
Matthysse’s last two fights have been particularly impressive with him knocking out Humberto Soto and Ajose Olusegun. Matthysse seems to be fighting at the top of his game right now and it’s going to be interesting to see how much longer he can go at this pace.
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