By Stanley White: Lucas Mattysse (38-4, 35 KOs) fully expects Tewa Kiram to try to use his reach and size to keep the fight on the outside this Saturday night in their contest for the vacant WBA World welterweight title at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Matthysse, 35, says he doesn’t care what the unbeaten Kiram (38-0, 28 KOs) has prepared for.
(Photo Credit: Tom Hogan – Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions)
Matthysse-Kiram will be fighting this Saturday on January 27 in the main event in a doubleheader on HBO Boxing After Dark. The start time for the Matthysse vs. Kiram card on HBO is at 10:30 ET/7:30 p.m. PT. The co-feature bout is WBA World lightweight champion Jorge Linares (43-3, 27 KOs) making his defense of his WBA and Ring lightweight straps against cellar dweller #15 WBA Mercito Gesta (31-1-2, 17 KOs). It’s not a great fight, no, but it’s what you get sometimes when you have a champion like Linares, who doesn’t want to take chances of getting beaten before he takes on WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia in a big payday unification fight later this year. Linares facing Gesta is a showcase fight to make him look really good and to get fans interested in the Mikey match-up. Under ideal circumstances, Linares would build up that fight by taking on a real contender like Luke Campbell, as he was hoping to fight a rematch with Linares, but there wasn’t any mutual interest on his part to fight him again.
He’s going to close the distance anyway and knockout the 25-year-old fighter from Thailand to take home the vacant WBA ‘regular’ 147 lb. title back to his homeland in Argentina. Matthysse will winning a world title late in his 14-year pro career, as he was expected to have won a world title years ago. Fate was never on Matthysse’s side unfortunately. He was arguably robbed in losses to Devon Alexander and Devon Alexander years ago. Matthysse was fouled continually in his fight with Danny Garcia, which he should have won if the referee had been doing his job to control the countless low blows that Matthysse was hit with in the fight. It’s late in Matthysse’s career to be on the verge of winning a world title, but the power is the last thing to go in a fighter. If Matthysse’s game was built around speed, he’d probably be done by now, but he’s not that type of fighter. Matthysse is a Golovkin like fighter, and that means he’s been able to last a lot longer than many of the speed demons that came up around the same time he did.
“I’m excited this opportunity to fight for a world title,” said Matthysse at the final press conference on Thursday. ”We prepared for this fight really well. We prepared in Argentina, and then finished in Indio. This Saturday, we will walk away with a world title,” Matthysse said.
This is just Matthysse’s second fight in the last 3 years since his loss to Viktor Postol in October 2015. Matthysse was fighting for the vacant WBC 140 lb. title at the time, but the 5’6 ½” couldn’t handle the towering height and reach of the 5’11” Ukrainian Postol, and he wound up suffering an eye injury in losing a 10th round knockout. The stoppage occurred after Matthysse suffered a broken eye socket in the 10th round. The 34-year-old Postol subsequently was beaten soundly by American Terence Crawford by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in his next fight on July 23, 2017. Postol is trying to get back to title contention, and he’ll be facing Regis Prograis in his next fight on March 9 in a battle for the interim WBC 140 lb. title. It’s interesting that how Matthysse is in a position to win a world title at welterweight, whereas Postol now has to slowly claw his way back to try and win a world title at 140. Things have finally turned around for Matthysse.
”We know that he manages his distance well and that he has a good jab, but we prepared for that,” Matthysse said of Kiram. ”We learned a few things, but I assure the fans that they will once again see the “Machine” this Saturday.”
Kiram does have a good jab, and he likes to stay on the outside and slowly batter his opponents with shots. The high percentage of knockouts for Kiram is highly misleading, however, as he’s not a big puncher. He’s been knocking out a lot of VERY weak opponents during his career. Kiram has decent power, but not what I would call excellent or even good power. The way Kiram has built up his resume is the same way heavyweight Shannon Briggs has in facing a lot of poor opposition that have very little skills, and then knocking them out. Kiram has done the exact same thing. Fighters usually pad their records at the start of their career, and then move on to facing good opposition. In Kiram’s case, he’s invested 10 years in padding his record against poor opposition without looking to face anyone good. He’s taken up some valuable time in his career by fighting horrible opposition, and now all of a sudden he’s facing a good fighter in Matthysse. The results of this fight are likely going to turn out bad for Kiram, but you never know. If Kiram is able to use his size and reach against the older, smaller, ring rusty Matthysse, he might be able to out-box him or knock him out. Matthysse is not a natural welterweight like Kiram.
””I’m very thankful that I’m fighting for a world title this Saturday against Lucas Matthysse,” Kiram said. ”I’m looking forward to winning a world and taking the belt back to Thailand. Don’t miss out on this great show.”
Kiram has been saying the same thing in each press conference about him wanting to take the WBA title back to Thailand with him. We’ll see if Kiram can make his prediction come true. Just looking at Kiram’s resume of weak opposition, it’s hard to imagine him being able to win against Matthysse. If Kiram can land a lucky shot on the button, then he might be able to knockout Matthysse. Barring that, it’s likely going to end badly for Kiram.