Lucas Matthysse was dealt his blessings from the boxing gods over the last week.
The Argentine puncher is 32-years-old, and 36-3 as a professional. His career has seen plenty of tumult -- from scoring decisions veering in the wrong directions, to a much more honest twelve-round loss at the hands of Danny Garcia. He is still mostly known as a dominant fighter.
Notwithstanding, every time Matthysse has found himself in championship territory, everything that could've went wrong -- did -- and he may be one of the best professional boxers yet to capture some dividend of the alphabet titles.
His last thirteen wins have come by way of stoppage, and he is 8-1 since being shorthanded against Zab Judah and Devon Alexander. He hasn't taken anything for granted, even as he's bludgeoned through some world-class fighters including former WBO titlist DeMarcus Corley (WTKO8, January 2011), Humberto Soto (WTKO5, June 2012), Mike Dallas Jr (WKO1, January 2013), and Lamont Peterson (WTKO 3, May 2013); shattering expectations in the process.
On February 24th, he earned his first recognition by the Boxing Writers' Association of America for his come-from-behind KO over John Molina Jr.
That win didn't come easy. Molina held a four-and-a-half inch height advantage over Matthysse, but wasn't planning on using it much. The Californian slouched his shoulders into the pocket to go toe-to-toe with Matthysse. A daring move on his part -- the thirty-three previous fighters to start and finish where he did would have considered it foolhardy. He was ready to see the fight in motion.
A second round knockdown over Matthysse was a show of assent. No chance, was the resignation of Matthysse -- the fight would wage on.
"The Machine's" lapse would be met with another in round five, and he would need to muster something to turn the tide soon -- not before taking his hits and losing some time.
In round eight, down on any rational scorecard, Matthysse deserted them with a knockdown of his own. Molina would regain his footing, but not a defensive ace, he would find himself drilled by right hands and vicious punch combinations.
Clearly the better conditioned of the two, Matthysse would quash Molina's hopes in round nine with a one-sided beating, and, after another knockdown, stop the proud Mexican-American in round eleven
In theory, it was a deserving candidate for Fight of the Year honors, but, in no small part, turned up on top of the heap due to the large audience it reached on Showtime Championship Boxing. Matthysse stays in the limelight -- something a fighter as exciting as himself will never forgo.
Just 24-hours after that announcement, Matthysse was the subject of another. He will headline April 18th's HBO's World Championship Boxing show just six days prior to when he is due to accept his honors at the 90th Annual BWAA dinner in New York.
His opponent could result in another Fight of the Year contender. Ruslan Provodnikov, 31, has clawed his way through boxing, and was involved in a spectacular 2013 contest with Timothy Bradley. His fight with Bradley was that year's BWAA Fight of the Year, even though he fumbled the unanimous decision. This out against Matthysse puts him on the big stage once again, and in a fan-friendly match-up.
It just might be a great time to be Lucas Matthysse, and, assuredly, an even better one to watch him step into the ring.