Our latest Boxing Notebook welcomes the return of power-punching Lucas Matthysse, and also looks at Justin DeLoach's upset win. For these stories and more news on the sweet science, read below:
Lucas Matthysse to fight on Canelo-Chavez undercard
Argentinian slugger Lucas Matthysse (37-4, 34 KOs) will make his return to the ring in May, taking on Emmanuel Taylor (20-4, 14 KOs) on the televised undercard of the Canelo Álvarez versus Julio César Chávez Jr. HBO pay-per-view bout held on Saturday, May 6, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Matthysse will be moving up to welterweight for the first time.
"I'm very happy to return to the ring and especially on such an important show such as Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. on May 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas," said Lucas Matthysse. "I've always brought great fights to demanding fans, and this one against Emmanuel Taylor will not be the exception."
Matthysse has defeated a who's who of contenders during his career including Lamont Peterson, John Molina, Jr., Humberto Soto, and Ruslan Provodnikov.
In Taylor, Matthysse will face a resurgent contender coming off back-to-back knockouts, and one who has gone toe-to-toe with the likes of Adrien Broner and Chris Algieri.
"I feel that I am really blessed to have this opportunity to once again fight on such a big stage," said Taylor. "Matthysse is a very tough fighter, but I am sure I'll beat him. This is a great opportunity for me and my family and it's been a long time coming."
"The rivalry has always been there between Julio César Chávez, Jr. and I, but obviously during this tour there were a lot of things said behind the cameras that made it even more intense. We're going to work really hard to give everyone a great fight."Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., on the Canelo-Chavez Jr. bout:
"Everyone will see a grand, grand fight, and the one who will win is the one with the bigger cajones. Canelo has always been the stronger fighter inside the ring, but this time things are going to be a lot different because he's fighting at a new weight. We don't know how he will look."Canelo Alvarez:
"I've said it before, and I'll say it again--Julio César Chávez, Sr. is one of the best, if not the best fighter in history. I grew up watching him and learned a lot from him, but that won't have any influence when I fight his son."
Justin DeLoach earns upset over Chris Pearson
Justin DeLoach scored a shocking upset over Chris Pearson with a second-round knockout victory on Friday in front of a sellout crowd from Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula.
"I feel great,” an emotional DeLoach said. “I am emotional right now. I come from a small city and my mom is here and she's in tears. Seeing my mom and my family here, I am just proud."
DeLoach, (17-1, 9 KOs) continued his impressive winning streak with his seventh straight victory, as he claimed the vacant USBA super welterweight title with the win, knocking out Pearson (14-2, 10 KOs, WSB 3-0, 1 KO) at 2:30 of the second round.
"I'm not surprised that it happened so quickly,” DeLoach said. “We had a strategy and we stuck to it. Hard work pays off and that was proof. I didn't think I was an underdog, but I understand the whole thing of psychological warfare. I always go into the ring like I am on top no matter what.”
Pearson was first knocked down after a strong DeLoach left hook that caught Pearson sideways and dropped him to the canvas with one minute to go in Round 2.
DeLoach didn’t let up, going after the hurt Pearson with a flurry of combinations, sending him down again on a straight right hand and leaving Pearson on his knees for the entire 10-second count.
The southpaw Pearson never got going and landed just one body punch in the short fight, connecting on just nine percent of his total punches (4 of 43) compared to 32 percent for DeLoach (29 of 92).
“Pearson seemed a step slower from the start and DeLoach came forward,” said boxing analyst Steve Farhood. “I thought it was going to be a distance fight. Pearson never recovered from his loss to Eric Walker. DeLoach continues to surprise. This is his fourth consecutive major win and now I believe he’s a contender at 154 pounds—maybe one or two fights away from a world title fight.”
The bout was originally scheduled for last September before Pearson was forced to withdraw due to an injury suffered in training.
"I felt lackluster,” Pearson said. “He came out and he was explosive, he was busy. He didn’t do anything I didn’t expect. Things happened the way they did, and you gotta take the good with the bad. He hit me in the eye which got me a bit disoriented. He fought like I thought he would, he did what he had to do. His performance didn’t surprise me."
In the co-main event of the evening, undefeated up-and-coming prospect Saul Rodriguez (21-0-1, 15 KOs) of nearby Riverside won a split decision, treating the hometown fans to a close outcome against a game Oscar Bravo (22-7, 10 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight battle.
Judge Carla Caiz scored it 95-94 for Rodriguez, Tony Crebs had it 95-94 for Bravo, and Jerry Cantu scored it 97-92 in favor of the undefeated Rodriguez, who had never been past eight rounds before Saturday night. He also was knocked down for the first time in his career in the fifth round.
“I was pretty happy with my performance, but I know there are a few things I need to work on and really just stay focused,” Rodriguez said. “When you’re fighting a wild opponent like Bravo, it gets tough, he head-butted me a few times which affected my visual, but I didn’t let his wild style interrupt my plan.
A straight right hand by Bravo dropped the 23-year-old Rodriguez for the first time in his career with 1:50 left in the fifth round giving Bravo a huge 10-8 round. In the sixth round Bravo, 29, was again impressive and was able to effectively get inside against Rodriguez and land several powerful combinations.
Going into the final round, the two were almost equal in number of punches thrown and number of punches connected. Rodriguez was a bit more active in the end, connecting on 33 percent of his punches (174 of 522) compared to 31 percent for Bravo (155 of 497).
In the telecast opener, undefeated cruiserweight Andrew Tabiti (14-0, 12 KOs) out-worked and out-classed the previously undefeated Quantis Graves (11-1-2, 4 KOs), scoring a technical knockout after six rounds.
The 27-year-old Tabiti was simply too skilled and powerful for the out-manned 34-year-old Graves, who was fighting for just the second time in the past 27 months.
Near the end of the fourth round Tabiti unleashed a series of powerful combinations that all but ended the fight, putting the visibly hurt Graves against the ropes before he was saved by the bell.
In the sixth round, Tabiti hurt Graves again leaving him back-pedaling and finally sending him to the canvas for the first time in his professional career with a brutal body shot. Graves never made it out for the seventh round as he and his corner threw in the towel in between rounds.
"Tabiti is very fast,” Graves said. “I've been boxing for 19 years and I've never fought anyone as fast as him. I have no excuses. It is okay. Tabiti was cocky before the fight and humble after. He just needs to keep working hard and perfect his skills."
Carlos Carlson ready to fight Yamanaka
Carlos "Memin" Carlson (22-1, 13 KOs) of Tijuana, finds himself in the toughest fight of his young career this week.
The 26-year-old challenges WBC Bantamweight Champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (26-0-2, 18 KOs), one of boxing's longest tenured title-holders, on Thursday, March 2, in Yamanaka's home turf of Japan.
Carlson has had quite an interesting journey to put himself in position for this bout. His story is chronicled in the mini-documentary entitled, "Memin: Portrait of a Boxer."
The piece reveals Carlson's arrest in 2008 for vandalism, and subsequent time served at a foster home for criminal rehabilitation. Only 18 at the time, Carlson soon discovered the sweet science, which took him off the streets and catapulted him to a world championship stage.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services