Adrien Broner vs. Lucas Matthysse possible for Dec.2
By Sean Jones: Hard-hitting Lucas Matthysse (38-4, 35 KOs) and former 4 division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner (33-3, 24 KOs) is a possibility for December 2 on the undercard of the proposed fight between Miguel Cotto and David Lemieux on HBO Boxing at Madison Square Garden in New York.
If the Broner vs. Matthysse fight takes place, it would likely happen in the 147-lb. division rather than at 140. Matthysse is now campaigning at welterweight, and he’s hoping to get the bigger fights in that division rather than staying at light welterweight and having limited options for money fights. It’s probably good for Broner that he can fight Matthysse at 147, because he has a tough time making 140 now.
Broner’s weight gets high in between fights, and he’s forced to trim a lot of pounds off for him to make weight. It’s unknown if Broner’s decreasing effectiveness inside the ring is a result of him having to take off so much weight to get ready for his fights or if it’s now a mental thing for him. In Broner’s recent 12 round unanimous decision loss to Mikey Garcia, he fought like he was scared to go after him to mix it up. It wasn’t the same Broner that we saw in his fight with Marcos Maidana.
Broner was attacking Maidana the entire fight despite being outgunned in terms of size and punching power. Against Garcia, Broner fought timidly, not attacking and showing very little power. Broner looked like he’d sacrificed a lot of muscle and strength to get down to the contract weight of 140 lbs. for the fight. This suggests that Broner is no longer capable of fighting at a prominent level at 140.
For Broner’s sake, he’s got to hope that he can fight better at 147, because he’s not going to be a major player at 140 at this point. Even when Terence Crawford leaves the 140-lb. division to move up in weight to 147, it’s doubtful that Broner will be able to move in and grab one of the light welterweight titles. Broner gets too heavy when not fighting, and it’s likely a battle for him just to get down to 147.
Broner-Matthysse would be the co-feature bout for the Cotto vs. Lemieux fight, which is still up in the air as to whether it’ll come off. There’s still a chance that Cotto will go in a different direction towards a softer fight than Lemieux against the likes of Antonio Margarito or Mikey Garcia.
Broner, 28, seems to be on the downside of his career despite being very young. With chronic problems outside of the ring, and less than stellar performances inside the ring, “The Problem” is a mere shadow of the fighter he once was 5 or more years ago. Broner was easily beaten in his last fight by lightweight Mikey Garcia in a 12 round unanimous decision loss on July 29 in a fight televised by Showtime Boxing at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Broner was beaten by the scores 116-112, 117-111 and 116-112. Boxing News 24 saw the fight as a one-sided affair with Mikey winning by the score of 117-111. The only reason Broner won any rounds is because Mikey coasted in the last 5 rounds of the fight to milk his wide lead. Mikey likely could have dominated every round and pitched a shutout if he wanted. Broner was that outclassed. It wasn’t even a real fight.
Matthysse in his prime likely would have been way too good for Broner. Matthysse is on another level as far as punching power compared to Broner. Unfortunately for Matthysse, he suffered a bad eye injury in his 10th round knockout loss to Viktor Postol on October 3, 2015, and he’s only fought once since then in stopping Emmanuel Taylor in round 5 on May 6 of this year. Matthysse looked good in dropping Taylor in the 3rd and 5th rounds before the fight was finally stopped.
Taylor, 26, is the same fighter that Broner struggled to beat by a 12 round unanimous decision on September 6, 2014. The only thing you can say about that is perhaps Taylor was a little fresher when he fought Broner 3 years ago compared to when he fought Matthysse. Tauylor had lost a close 10 round unanimous decision to Antonio Orozco on May 15, 2015. However, in Taylor’s 2 fights before the Matthysse fight, he’d beaten Wilfredo Acuna and Carlos Aguilera by knockouts and looked sensational.
Matthysse’s punching power was as good as it always was in the Taylor fight. I saw no drop off in the power department for the Argentinian, which could be bad news for Broner. If Matthysse is firing on all 8 cylinders for the Broner fight, it’s going to tough for “The Problem” to win that fight. Broner is still little more than a pumped up super featherweight than a true welterweight.
Before Matthysse’s loss to Postol in 2015, he’d won his last 3 fights in beating Ruslan Provodnikov by a 12-round majority decision in a war on April 18, 2015, and before that he beat Roberto Ortiz and John Molina Jr. by knockouts. Matthysse vs. Molina Jr. was also a grueling fight, as both guys hit the canvas twice. Matthysse was down in rounds 2 and 5. After the 5th round knockdown, Matthysse took over the fight and gave Molina Jr. a beating before stopping him in round 11. The timing for Matthysse to be fighting Postol in October 2015 was a bad one. You can question the wisdom of Matthysse’s handlers putting him in with the lanky 5’11” Postol just 6 months after his tough fight against Provodnikov.
After a hard fight like that, Matthysse should have either taken a softer fight or taken a little more time out of the ring before facing Postol. Crawford made Postol look bad in beating him by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision on July 23, 2016. A fresh Matthysse likely would have beaten Postol too by attacking him with combinations the way that Crawford did. Matthysse looked played out even before the Postol fight started. In Mattthysse’s last fight against Taylor, he looked a lot better rested like he’d had more than enough time to refresh his batteries. It had been almost 2 years since Mattysse had lost fought.
If Broner loses to Matthysse by a knockout, it might be time for him to start thinking about retirement. Broner has eaten himself out of the 130, 135 and 140 lb. weight classes, and he lacks the punching power to succeed at 147. Broner might be able to get fights against top contenders or even a world title shot based off his name, but if he keeps getting beaten, then the opportunities for him will start dwindling rapidly. Broner has arguably lost his last 2 fights. Before his fight with Mikey Garcia, Broner beat Adrian Granados by a VERY controversial 10 round split decision on February 18 of this year at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. The fight took place in Broner’s hometown, and a lot of boxing fans saw him winning a gift decision. I saw the fight, and I had Granados winning by 7 rounds to 3 score. There was no way that Broner won that fight. He looked bad, and he spent most of the fight on the ropes taking big shots from Granados.
Broner had a good early part of his career before success hurt it, causing him to lose his game. If Broner can’t return to the form that he had 5 years ago, which is unlikely, then he can still feel proud about his past achievements in boxing and walk away from the game with his head held high. Broner looks like an over-the-hill fighter right now. I can’t see him beating Matthysse.