Saturday, 15 April 2017 19:05

Canelo vs Chavez Jr undercard: Will Lucas Matthysse answer heavy questions?

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In one of the most talked about fights in years, Canelo Alvarez will face countryman and Mexican rival Julio Cesar Chavez Jr on May 6.

“Boxing has been searching for a fight to draw the casual fan back to our sport, and Canelo versus Chávez, Jr. is just that fight,” said fight legend Oscar De La Hoya.

Canelo vs Chavez Jr was a wise move... But what about the main undercard?

In the 1990s, we saw stacked fight cards will compelling perlimary bouts but we seldom see that today. Everyone focuses on the main event while the undercards get very little buzz because the fighters and match-ups generate little interest. Even if the fights are quality, few care.

Will May 6 be any different?

... Maybe.

Lucas Matthysse (37-4, 34 KO), a fighter regarded as one of the hardest punchers pound-for-pound in this decade, will face contender Emmanuel Taylor (20-4, 14 KOs) and the bout will serve as the main undercard bout for Canelo vs Chavez Jr.

When Matthysse steps in the ring, it will have been about 19 months since he last fought professionally. In that bout, of course, Lucas was stopped inside the distance for the first time in his career by Viktor Postol.

Can he rebound from that loss?

How will Matthysse look after such a lengthy layoff? And is moving up seven pounds to 147 lbs a good move for the rugged Argentine? After all, given he had problems with Postol's height and reach and 140, the welterweight division certainly won't make it any easier for him?

Moreover, at a well-travelled 34, can he still hang with boxing's top fighters or is he a bit shopwarn these days?

Enter Emmanuel Taylor.

On paper, the 26 year old Taylor looks like just another 'opponent' who is supposed to lose. But let's not forget Taylor has never been stopped inside the distance and rose to the occasion against Adrien Broner, delivering an electrifying performance in defeat.

What'll happen when or if Matthysse learns he can't knockout Taylor? The latter won't be as easy to outbox as Ruslan Provodnikov.

Perhaps Taylor is just the fighter Lucas needs to answer some pretty heavy questions?

Lee Cleveland

Lee is Managing Editor of, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.

A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.

Lee created to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.