Lamont Peterson: Why Lamont Peterson Should Face Lucas Matthysse Next

Alejandro 'Alex' Burgos@301whereimfromContributor IIFebruary 24, 2013

Lamont Peterson: Why Lamont Peterson Should Face Lucas Matthysse Next

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    After a 14-month layoff, Lamont "Havoc" Peterson returned to the boxing ring on February 22 with a convincing knockout victory over Kendall Holt on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights.

    Peterson (31-1-1, 15 KOs) took some time to shake the ring rust off, but eventually found his rhythm midway through the fight. 

    After Peterson landed a mean left hook to the body in Round 4, Holt (28-6, 16 KOs) went into a defensive shell. Lamont stalked Kendall until referee Tony Weeks was forced to the stop the bout at the 1:42 mark in Round 8.

    Peterson gave the hometown crowd a memorable show, displaying the determination and grit that has characterized his style not only inside the ring, but also outside of it.

    With the convincing win over Holt, Peterson now has some interesting options for his next opponent.

    Peterson made it known that his desire is to face WBA title holder, Danny Garcia:

    "I would love to fight Danny Garcia, I still think that I am the champ, the WBA champ, and I want to get the fight to make that happen."

    But, with Danny Garcia set to face Zab Judah in April, Peterson would be smart to look beyond that fight for now and entertain the idea of facing one the most-feared men at junior welterweight, Lucas Matthysse.

    With both men coming off of impressive knockout victories to start the year, interest in this fight is starting to build.

    Read on to find out the top reasons why Lamont Peterson should face Lucas Matthysse in his next fight.

International Affair

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    Lamont Peterson helped pack the D.C. Armory with 3,500 people against Kendall Holt. This shows that Peterson has a solid hometown fanbase.

    With the large Latino population in the Washington, D.C. area, Lucas Matthysse could bring a strong number of supporters for a fight in D.C. as well.

    Both Peterson and Matthysse are promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, so making a fight between the two should be relatively easy. After Peterson’s victory last night, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer spoke briefly about the prospects of a Peterson versus Matthysse showdown:

    Garcia is fighting Judah, so I am thinking maybe Lucas Matthysse on May 18 in Washington, D.C. from the Verizon Center. Pair it up with Alexander vs Brook. Would be a huge night, maybe one of the biggest nights Washington has seen.

    This means that Matthysse versus Peterson could be huge not only for the sport of boxing, but also the nation’s capital in general.

    And, perhaps President Barack Obama would accept a ringside invitation this time around.

No Time Like the Present

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    At 29 years of age, Lamont Peterson is in his fighting prime. 

    After defending his IBF junior welterweight title for the first time, Peterson has built up some confidence and some good momentum.

    With all of the negative feedback he received after the positive test for a banned substance, Peterson will want to capitalize on his current positive standing and make a big lucrative fight.

    Lucas Matthysse, who is 30 years old, is also in his prime.

    Matthysse scored a big knockout win over Mike Dallas Jr. in January, leaving boxing fans anxious to see more.

    With both fighters' recent victories, Golden Boy should have an easy time promoting a showdown between the two.

    At this point in each fighter’s career, they will each be able to put forth their best effort in what will most likely be a physically grueling affair.

    Because both men have stated that they want a shot at Danny Garcia, perhaps the winner could face the winner of Garcia vs. Judah.

Styles Make Fights

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    Lamont Peterson and Lucas Matthysse both make a living on the inside. Both fighters usually bring the action and press their opponent, so there would be no difficulty finding each other.

    If Peterson wants to give the fans a great show, fighting Matthysse is the way to do so. A fight versus Matthysse has the potential to be an action-packed phone-booth-type of fight.

    As the CompuBox stats show, Peterson landed an impressive 54 percent of his power shots through seven-rounds versus Kendall Holt.

    Power thru 7:Peterson 114 of 210 (54%) Holt41 of 183 (22%) @espnboxing

    — CompuBox (@CompuBox) February 23, 2013

    Taking a look at Matthysse's CompuBox punch stats from his fight against Ajose Olusegun shows that Lucas is cut from the same cloth as Peterson.

    Both fighters throw power punches with a high-connect percentage and look to break their opponent down by starting with the body.

    Because of their respective styles, a potential matchup between these two busy fighters would definitely please the boxing world.

Taking on the Most-Feared Fighter in the Decision

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    Lucas Matthysse is one of the most-feared fighters in boxing today. Because of his huge punching power—Matthysse has 31 knockouts in 36 fights—opponents aren't exactly eager to face him.

    By stepping in the ring to battle Matthysse, Lamont Peterson can win over a lot of casual and diehard boxing fans whether he wins or loses.

    Matthysse and Peterson each have a similar buzz going for them, but because Lamont is the title holder, he may have more to lose. 

    Considering the two questionable losses he has against Judah and Alexander, if Matthysse decides to go to Peterson's hometown to try and win the IBF title, fans will respect his will to win even more. 

    If Peterson is able to beat Matthysse, Golden Boy may grant him his wish to face Danny Garcia. With speculation that Garcia is ducking Matthysse, he may prefer a bout with Peterson as well.

Fighter Bio's

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    Peterson has fought tough competition throughout his career including fights versus Timothy Bradley, Victory Ortiz, Amir Khan and Kendall Holt.

    While Peterson is not known for his one punch power—he is a busy fighter that works the body well.

    Lucas Matthysse also has an impressive resume, having faced Zab Judah, Devon Alexander and Ajose Olusegun.

    With an 86 percent knockout percentage, Matthysse possesses some of the best one punch power in boxing and always puts on appealing fights.

    Here is a closer look at each fighter:

    Lamont Peterson:

    31-1-1 (16 KO's) 

    Best Win: Amir Khan

    Toughest Loss: Timothy Bradley

    Lucas Matthysse:

    33-2-0 (31 KO's)

    Best Win: Ajose Olusegun/Humberto Soto

    Toughest Loss: Zab Judah

Fight Prediction

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    If the fight is held at the Verizon Center in Washington, Richard Schafer suggested yesterdayPeterson will be walking into another big fight with the support of his hometown crowd behind him.

    Walking into an opponent's backyard is something that Lucas Matthysse is familiar with and as he said after the Judah fight, not too fond of.

    Matthysse definitely holds the edge in power, but Peterson’s ability to break his opponents down with accurate punches to the body is something that may give Lucas some trouble.

    An interesting factor to look at is going to be how each fighter starts the fight. Both Peterson and Matthysse are notoriously slow starters, but if one of them can get their motor started early, it could spell trouble for the other.

    As Lem Satterfield of Ring Magazine noted, Peterson sometimes takes rounds off. But to beat Matthysse, Lamont won’t have the luxury of slowing down.

    As the ESPN2 team mentioned during the fight telecast last night, Lamont Peterson has been knocked down in some of his biggest fights. If Matthysse keeps the fight at a short distance, chances are that he will eventually catch Lamont Peterson with a punch that can put the IBF champ down, and possibly out.

    Final Prediction: Lucas Matthysse by KO.

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