Pacquiao vs Horn 2 winner: KO artist looms largeWritten by Leroy Cleveland
As of June 2017, hard-punching brawler Lucas Matthysse (38-4, 35 KO) was the WBO's No. 2 welterweight ranked contender behind Jeff Horn who is now the organization's champion.
Thus, look for Matthysse to get a title shot sometime in 2018 if he doesn't lose in the interim.
The winner of the still unconfirmed rematch between Manny Pacquiao vs Horn will likely get a voluntary defense before having to face the mandatory contender who, at this moment of course, would be Matthysse.
Long regarded as one of the hardest punchers pound-for-pound during the past 10 years, Matthysse last fought in May on the Canelo vs Chavez undercard, scoring a 5th Round TKO over Emmanuel Taylor. Having made a name for himself as a super lightweight (140 lbs), the Taylor fight was Matthysse's first at welterweight.
Prior to last May it had been 19 months since Lucas entered a prizefighting ring having taken a long hiatus since being stopped inside the distance for the first time in his career by Viktor Postol in October 2015.
A crowd-pleasing, fan favorite, the 34-year-old Matthysse would be a difficult assignment for anyone in the welterweight division. And because of his vaunted punching power, he’s always a threat until the final bell.
Shortly after sparring Lucas in 2013, former two division champion Tim Bradley stated, "That dude [Matthysse] can punch like a monster."
"Nobody has no idea how hard he hits... this dude can punch. Matthysse is a special type of cat.
"Dude had 20 ounce gloves on and dude was HITTING.”
Bradley added he was weighing around 160 lbs. and had a weight advantage over Matthysse in that sparring session. And even using the big oversized gloves, Tim admitted Lucas was moving him with thudding shots.
WBO Welterweight Rankings
Just Prior to Pacquiao vs Horn
CHAMPION:MANNY PACQUIAO (Sup. Champion) PHI
1 Jeff Horn AUST
2 Lucas Matthysse ARG
3 Bradley Skeete UK
4 Jessie Vargas USA
5 Egidijus Kavaliauskas LIT
6 Konstantin Ponomarev RUS
7 Taras Shelestyuk UKR
8 Adrian Luciano Veron ARG
9 Sammy Valentin PR
10 Ray Robinson USA
Pacquiao vs Matthysse?
Should Manny Pacquiao defeat Horn and regain his title, would the former’s trainer, Freddie Roach, allow PacMan to face an opponent of Matthysse's tenacity and punching prowess?
Following the loss to Horn earlier this month, Roach told Yahoo Sports:
"I suggested to Manny, ‘Hey Manny, I think you should retire.’ He said, ‘Well, what about fighting a rematch with this guy?’ I said, ‘Well, maybe a rematch, but then that’s it. There can be no more [fights with Floyd] Mayweather and so forth.'"
Obviously, Lucas Matthysse, like Terence Crawford, would seemingly be out of the question. Nevertheless, Pacquiao insisted he wants a few more fights before retiring.
If he regains the title and Lucas becomes his mandatory opponent, would Pacquiao face him despite Roach's very candid public declarations?
Lucas Matthysse facts & stats
Record 38-4, 35 KO
KO Percentage 81
KOs within 3 rounds: 20
Last 5 bouts: 4-1
Promoter: Golden Boy
Manager: Al Haymon
Trainer: Luis Dionisio Barrera
Most significant fights:
MD 12 Ruslan Provodnikov
TKO 3 Lamont Peterson
UD 12 by Danny Garcia
SD 12 by Zab Judah
KO 11 John Molina
TKO 5 Humberto Soto
SD 12 by Devon Alexander
TKO 8 DeMarcus Corley