Boxing: Is Junior Welterweight Champion Danny Garcia Ducking Lucas Matthysse?

Kevin McRae@@McRaeWritesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2013

Matthysse has frightening punching power.
Matthysse has frightening punching power.Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

If Lucas Matthysse keeps running through opponents the way he did Mike Dallas Jr. the other night in Las Vegas, he's going to have an even harder time getting fights.

If that's possible.

Matthysse (33-2, 31 KO) literally knocked his opponent out in the waning seconds of the first round and underscored his claims to be the most exciting 140-pound fighter in the world.

In the process he also placed a spotlight on why many of the other top dogs at junior welterweight seemingly want no part of him. 

He hits like a Mack truck and has a legitimate argument that he should be undefeated. His only two losses, both in his opponents' backyards, were extremely controversial.

In those defeats, to Zab Judah in New Jersey and Devon Alexander in Missouri, he deposited both guys to the canvas and lost narrow decisions many felt he deserved.

The win over Dallas was simply a stay-busy type of fight—and, in reality, a substantial mismatch—while he continues to lobby for a bout with WBC/WBA junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia. 

Matthysse has been Garcia's mandatory challenger for a while now, and in fact holds the interim WBC 140-pounds title, but the fight has yet to be made.

There are those who have insinuated that Garcia is ducking the hard-hitting Argentine, instead electing to face aging veterans Erik Morales this past November and Zab Judah this April.

Neither of those fighters carry anything near the punching power at this stage of their careers and while individually bigger names, even at this stage, present nowhere near the level of risk.

Both Garcia and Matthysse are promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, so there is no interpromotional rivalry holding the bout back, and negotiations should be relatively simple. 

The chances of this bout happening this year seem questionable at best.

If Garcia does in fact get by Judah in their bout, rescheduled for April due to injury, it would seem he could be in line for a lucrative rematch with Amir Khan, whom he defeated last July.

Khan, who is a fellow Golden Boy stablemate, has been openly lobbying for the rematch since he successfully returned with a stoppage win over Carlos Molina in December.

If you're Golden Boy, that's the fight you're going to look at first. It markets itself, provides two name fighters with sizable fanbases and would be an easy sell to the public.

Lucas Matthysse then would once again find himself in the unenviable position of being the fighter who is just too high-risk, low-reward to land the big fight. 

And that's truly a shame.

If he were marketed well, with his style and punching power he could become a big star. A fight with Danny Garcia is a stylistic dream match and would be tremendous fun to watch.

But boxing is first and foremost a business. A Khan matchup is simply more marketable and known, even if not a better fight than Matthysse. 

Does that mean he's ducking the Argentine? Or is he simply doing what's best for him from a business standpoint?

You can make this case much easier by pointing to the Morales and Judah fights. Garcia had previously beaten "El Terrible" by wide decision in their first bout, and Judah was thoroughly outclassed by Khan in his last high-profile bout.

Neither of these bouts can compare in terms of challenge and potential explosiveness of Garcia vs. Matthysse.

It's a bout that needs to happen before the end of the year. If it doesn't, you can call it ducking, or call it business. 

But don't call it a win for the sport or its fans if this fight doesn't happen sooner rather than later.