By Jackie Kallen
It’s an age-old question: Power or speed? Punching ability or boxing ability? Most boxing elitists will pick speed. A man can’t hurt what he can’t hit. But others know that victory is always just one punch away.
As I sit here at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, I am hoping that in the case of the Matthysse/Dallas fight tomorrow night–it is speed that prevails. Since I am part of Michael Dallas’s management team, I fully admit to being biased.
I always saw a bright future for Michael Dallas and when we turned him pro in March 2008, I knew the day would come when he would be fighting for a world title. That day is January 26, 2013 when he faces hard-hitting Lucas Martin Matthysse for the interim WBC Light Welterweight belt.
Matthysse won the title last September by beating Ajose Olusegun right here at the Hard Rock. He stopped Olusegun in the 10th round. Matthysse himself has never been stopped, although he lost decisions to Zab Judah and Devon Alexander. He has KOed a whopping 86% of his opponents.
Dallas, on the other hand, is not known for his power. He is known for his slickness, his speed, and his ring smarts. I have to hope that he sticks to his game plan and nullifies Matthysse’s strength. The worst thing he can do is stand in front of him.
Dallas has the added motivation of his father’s untimely death a few months ago. His father, Michael Dallas, jr., was a respected and beloved trainer from Bakersfield who did a fabulous job of guiding his son’s progress. Without his dad in his corner, it will be a bittersweet night. To finally go for the world title, but without his mentor with him, Dallas will have to dig deep. I know his father will be with him in spirit and will be a strong presence.
Michael is younger and taller than Matthysse and both have two losses on their records. Team Dallas is still reeling from an inexplicable loss in 2011 to Mauricio Herrera. To the majority of people watching the fight, Michael Dallas won easily. But for some reason, two of the judges gave the fight to Herrera. Herrera has lost both his fights since then, so go figure. Dallas has won both of his.
This fight is a turning point for Michael Dallas. A win puts him up there with the top boxers in his weight class: Danny Garcia, Brandon Rios, Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Kendall Holt. He could finally start to get the pay-days and recognition all fighters dream of. Losing is not an option.
Being seen live on Showtime is another perk. If Dallas looks good, he will have a wide audience watching him. This is his night to shine. He is facing a rough and tough Argentinian who will not easily give up his #2 spot in the ratings. It has the makings of a classic match-up.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen