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Lem’s latest: Matthysse calls Garcia ‘fight of my life’

Fighters Network

Lucas Matthysse has won six straight, all by knockout, heading into his Sept. 14 clash on Showtime Pay Per View against RING, WBA and WBC junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia, with four of those victories having happened in the United States.

But during a three-fight stretch ending in June of 2011, Matthysse (34-2, 32 knockouts) lost two disputed decisions on American soil, to Zab Judah and Devon Alexander.
The implication is clear: Coming off of a third-round knockout of IBF 140-pound beltholder Lamont Peterson in a non-title bout in May, Matthysse will look to take the judges out of the equation against Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs), whom he will face in the co-feature to Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Canelo Alvarez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“I would be on top of the world,” said Matthysse, during a recent conference call. “It would be the best fight of my life.”

Garcia, in turn, said Matthysse will feel his power, adding that if THE RING’s No. 1-rated 140-pounder is “not careful, he’s gonna get hurt.”

“On September 14th I’m going to prove myself to Danny,” said Matthysse. “That’s going to be the proof of [my power,] when he feels my punches and sees if they’re strong enough or not.”

A three-city press tour for Garcia-Matthysse will include stops in New York and Philadelphia on Aug. 22, followed by another in Los Angeles on Aug. 23.


Russian fighter Ruslan Provodnikov has been training alongside three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto and listed his weight at “around 152 or 153 pounds” leading up to his bout with Mike Alvarado for the WBO’s junior welterweight belt on Oct. 19.

Provodnikov (22-2, 15 knockouts) and Cotto, who is preparing for junior middleweight Delvin Rodriguez on Oct. 5, with both fights to be shown on HBO, are both training under the tutelage of Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif.

As of Monday, Provodnikov had been involved in five workout sessions, comprised of core strength and conditioning with coach Gavin McMillian in the morning, followed by mitt work with Roach, according to Provodnikov’s manager, Vadim Kornilov.

“Cotto’s a little bit ahead, because his fight is earlier. But Ruslan did some running together with Cotto on Friday, but our training sessions are separated with Freddie right now,” said Kornilov.

“Cotto has the 1 p.m. session, and we have the 3 p.m. session with Freddie at the gym. In the morning, Cotto trains earlier than we do, so, right now, it’s only been the one day with Cotto — that running day on Friday.”

Provodnikov was impressed by Cotto.

“I think Cotto is in great shape right now. He ran the distance very quickly. Training camp is going great. Everything is going very positively,” said Provodnikov.

“My whole team is here, and that’s the most important thing. I’m not yet thinking about the fight at all. I’m just focused on my training and getting the basic training done. I’ll start focusing more on the fight and the strategy once it gets a little closer.”

Will Provodnikov do any sparring with Cotto?

“Freddie said that he’s considering it, although they’re not perfectly fit for each other,” said Kornilov. “That’s because their opponents are different than each other in terms of their styles. I think that they may be working together at times, as mentioned by Freddie, but we’re not 100 percent positive.”


Top Rank Vice President Carl Moretti has confirmed reports that the Cotto-Rodriguez card will include a lightweight bout between Terence Crawford (21-0, 16 KOs) and Andrey Klimov (16-0, 8 KOs).

“Contracts just came back,” stated Moretti in an e-mail to, calling Crawford-Klimov a “confirmed fight.”

Crawford, 25, has won five of his past six fights by knockout, and Klimov, 31, is coming off a majority decision over John Molina in June.


Moretti has confirmed reports that Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko, a winner of his second Olympic gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London, will make his professional debut in a 10-round featherweight bout against Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Oquendo (23-3, 16 KOs) on the undercard of the WBO welterweight title defense by Tim Bradley against Juan Manuel Marquez on HBO Pay Per View on Oct. 12.

Lomachenko, 25, who signed with Top Rank last month, won the featherweight gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, where he was the recipient of the Val Barker Trophy as the event’s Outstanding Boxer.

On the way to winning his second gold medal in the lightweight division in 2012, Lomachenko scored a victory over Puerto Rican Felix Verdejo, who is 7-0 with five knockouts after having signed with Top Rank.

Lomachenko “wants to fight for a world title” should he defeat Oquendo, Top matchmaker Brad Goodman said during an earlier interview, “and we’re going to try to make that happen.”

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]