Matthysse: Kiram doesn’t know what I’m bringing
By Stanley White: Lucas Matthysse (38-4, 35 KOs) has his best chance of his 14-year pro career to win a world title in his fight this month against unbeaten Tewa Kiram (38-0, 28 KOs) on January 27 in their battle for the vacant WBA World welterweight title on HBO Boxing After Dark at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
(Photo credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions)
Matthysse is now 35-years-old, and this is his big chance to win a title againt a fighter with no experience against good opposition in 25-year-old Kiram from Thailand. It’s not Kiram’s fault that his management has kept him fighting in his own country of Thailand his entire 10-year pro career, and not matched him up against world class opposition. That’s how it’s done a lot of times.
Matthysse is going to test Kiram’s chin early in this fight like he did in his last bout against Emmanuel Taylor. If Kiram can’t handle Matthysse’s level of power, we’re going to see a quick knockout on January 27.
Fighters get isolated and spend a great deal of time fighting obscure opposition of limit talent. When they do eventually step it up against their first world class fighter, it often ends badly for them.
Despite having limited experience against good fighters, Kiram stands a puncher’s chance. He’s got the youth on his side, as well as being the much active fighter in the last 2 years. Matthysse has only had 1 fight in the last 2 years since his injury loss to Victor Postol in October 2015. In contrast, Kiram has fought 6 times during that same time frame. Being active can help Kiram if he’s able to survive the early rounds and take Matthysse into the deeper rounds of the contest to try and knockout him out.
”I know that Tewa Kiram is a hard puncher and can fight on the outside, but on January 27th, I’ll become world champion,” said Matthysse to RingTV.com. ”I might not know about what he is bringing, but neither will he. We both know what we bring to the table: We’re both knockout artists.”
Kiram’s opposition is mostly unrecognizable names to most boxing fans in the U.S and elsewhere around the world. Kiram’s recent fights have come against these fighters: Ramandhani Shauri, Wellem Reyk, Vladimir Baez, Larry Siqu and Alexander Zhuravskiy. Those are all obscure opposition, and their records are frightfully bad. The World Boxing Association are the ones that gave Kiram his high #1 ranking. They’re the ones that are going to have pie on their faces if Matthysse knocks Kiram out in the 1st round like some boxing fans think will be happening.
Matthysse suffered a bad eye injury in his 10th round knockout loss to Victor Postol in 2015 in a fight for the vacant WBA light welterweight title. Postol won the belt after Matthysse went down hard with an eye injury in the 10th. Matthysse was then out of the ring for 1 ½ years until staging a comeback in stopping Emmanuel Taylor in the 5th round on May 6, 2017.
“There was no chance of me ever quitting,” said Matthysse.
A loss for Matthysse will be a major blow to his career. Not only would it take Matthysse a long time to come back from a loss to Kiram, but it would also show that he doesn’t have the talent to mix it up with the top guys in the 147 lb. division. Kiram looks like a decent fighter, but he’s not in the same level as the better fighters in the welterweight division. If Matthysse can’t beat Kiram, then he has no place in the division. Matthysse will either move back down to the 140 lb. weight class or make a decision whether it’s worth it for him to continue on as just a contender rather than a world champion.
Matthysse has shared the ring with a lot of good fighters during his career. He’s fought against some of the best. When he’s had the pressure on him in the biggest fights in his career, he’s come up short in losses to Danny Garcia, Zab Judah, Viktor Postol and Devon Alexander. Matthysse still wants a chance to avenge the loss to Garcia. He might get that wish if he wins the WBA welterweight title. A rematch against Alexander might be possible as well for Matthysse in the future if he wins his fight with Victor Ortiz. Alexander is trying to turn his career around after 2 year out of the boxing ring. A rematch between Alexander and Matthysse would be a good fight if there’s a title on the line. I can’t say that Alexander is deserving of a title shot though, but look at Matthysse. He’s fighting for the vacant WBA ‘regular’ welterweight title after 2 years out of the ring.
Matthysse-Kiram needs to an interesting fight to make up for what will likely be a mismatch on the same card in Jorge Linares’ title defense of his WBA and Ring lightweight straps against bottom feeder contender #15 WBA Mercito Gesta. That’s probably not going to be a good fight unless the 32-year-old Linares gets old overnight.