Matthysse Versus. Postol - Tale of Two Machines
By Allan Cerf, Dog House Boxing (Sept 30, 2015)
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This fight is for a big prize, the WBC Junior Welterweight strap (now called “Super Lightweight?) which the WBC ordered when Danny Garcia relinquished it as Garcia continually demonstrated an unwillingness to try to make the weight. While Lucas Matthysse, 32, is called The Machine in reference to his grinding style, this is a match-up featuring two machines, because Postol, 31, a product of the old Soviet school (if not system) is a machine too, in the relentless way he practices boxing fundamentals. This has led to an undefeated record against moderate competition and just 11 KO’s – this guy is a fast boxer, with great experience, period. I’ve long felt Machine 1, Matthysse, to be a much better boxer than he’s given credit for, with his own mastery of fundamentals. Indeed, I think Matthysse’s all-around abilities are underrated, while his considerable power is a bit…bit blown up beyond what it really is. Lucas has to get inside Postol because I doubt he can win – or is even considering, a long-range boxing match. He will want to KO Postol where he couldn’t KO – but certainly did hurt, Ruslan Provodnikov, in his last bout, which went the full 12.
Average of all letter grades: B-
Average of all letter grades: B-
First let me state Postol’s reach is unknown and I can only ‘eye-ball’ it. Okay, his reach looks much longer than Matthysse’s… Postol certainly looks a legitimate 5’11,” which will pose problems for Matthysse. Also note; while having a huge amount of amateur fights, Postol’s winning percentage was not glittering. His professional record has been compiled against decent competition but is not a Murder’s Row of top-flight opponents.
Postol is said to have a great speed advantage against Matthysse, but in viewing his fights, I don’t see it. Slight, if any. He is ‘fitness’ quick and not fast-twitch quick. Postol is trained by Freddie Roach which probably gives him a corner advantage. Roach sees what I see: a pure boxer with a fine jab and all other punches competently thrown. A craftsman. Other than the jab – the best weapon in boxing, you don’t look to Postol and say, “mighty left hook” or “tremendous overhand right.”
I like Matthysse a lot; don’t know why, just do. Even his surname is cool to look at. Seriously, he’s a fine fighter, with greatly underrated boxing skills. It’s been noted by other writers his cool trick of cutting off the ring, then moving back to center-ring, which confuses opponents. He has various hooks and rights… inside and outside versions of left and rights-hand shots. He moves surprisingly well. He has had greater professional competition than Postol. He also blocks a lot of punches for such an attacker.
Both Golden Boy and Freddie Roach swear by him; Oscar in particular is nuts about Matthysse.
Matthysse’s weakness is most unusual: For all his sneaky technique, he doesn’t make adjustments well. Danny Garcia’s disgraceful low blows should have been met with his own – even if only he, Matthysse got docked-as the Ref clearly favored Garcia. Lucas also had trouble at times with Garcia’s height and reach advantage. Lucas made the huge mistake of taking a round off versus Devon Alexander and paid with a loss in a fight I thought he won. I also thought he edged t Zab Judah. The flashes of elite skills Judah displays in every fight, flummoxed Matthysse early and revealed for me that Lucas, while truly outstanding, does not have top-drawer athleticism.
Matthysse might easily be undefeated – but for bad luck and a bent referee vs. Garcia and 2 close decision losses. While I appreciate him taking 3 losses in stride, I was puzzled by his enormous celebrations after defeating the amazing – but limited, Provodnikov. Has the aging Argentine peaked and now willing to just, “see what happens” in his fights? Versus Postol, Matthysse either gets back to seeing himself as the badass Junior Welter on earth, or becomes just another excellent and exciting, shorter fighter who was passing through.
Lucas Matthysse comes from a family of fighters, has a daughter and is separated from his wife. He is tremendously close to his mother, loves his dogs and says he has no time for hobbies. As befits an Argentine – he loves steak. He is very quiet.
Viktor Postol is an articulate and pleasant guy, who enjoys time with his wife, fishing and spending time he says, only with good company.
As rematches are somewhat rare and defeats in this day and age – a no-no, we find ourselves fans, yes, at another “Crossroads Fight.” A defeat in a quality fight hurts Matthysse far more; Postol is barely known and would have a single loss against a fine fighter if he fails.
I see Postol’s boxing fundamentals not working as well as he planned - but working, in the big step up in class. He will get hit hard by the Argentine and repeatedly and we shall see if he can handle it. He will also be surprised at just how clever Matthysse is, what tricks he can employ. But… Postol has Coach Roach and his height and probably a much greater reach. He will make Matthysse work very hard and absorb a lot of punches. As Postol showed by KOing Selcuk Aydin in 2014, every pure boxer seemingly has rare moments of great power. Matthysse must hope this is not one of those moments.
It’s a tough call! An even fight which probably goes the distance and sees Matthysse finally winning a title. Though he defends well, shorter fighters suffer a lot of wear and tear. If victorious, I hope Matthysse defends the title as often as possible. Time for him, is short. If Postol wins convincingly, he is deserving of big paydays and as all pure boxers do – will throw a scare into everyone at his weight class.
Prediction: Matthysse UD, 12
I’m informed that incredibly, if Danny Garcia can’t cut it at Welter, he is somehow entitled to become an automatic champion upon a bail-out and return to Super Lightweight? WTF!
Postol’s true reach (unless HBO announces it) is unknown.
My Grade for age is based not just on chronological age also but wear and tear. Hence Matthysse has has a much lower grade as he’s taken much more punishment.
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