By Jackie Kallen
The Junior Welterweight division is a hot one right now and the Saturday contest between Mexican Humberto Soto and hard-hitting Argentinian Lucas Marrin Matthysse looks to be a barn-burner. At the Staples Center in LA, it is the main event on a card that also features Victor Ortiz against Josesito Lopez.
The fight will be for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Junior Welterweight title. The 32 year old Soto desperately wants to win. Having started his career 15 years ago as a bantamweight, Soto has risen through the weight classes and is now campaigning at 140 pounds. All of his fights at this weight have been in Mexico.
Matthysse has always fought at this weight and is used to it and comfortable there. However, most of his fights have been in Argentina and when he has ventured here to the States to fight in the past few years, he has gone home with an L.
In 2010, Matthysse battled it out with Zab Judah in Newark and came out on the wrong end of a very close decision. Some at ringside felt that the Argentinian won, but did not get the decision he earned. In 2011, he came back to the US to face off against Devon Alexander in Missouri. It was another close and controversial decision and he went back to Argentina with another loss.
This time Matthysse is hoping his two fists will be the judges. He is tired of having his fate decided by judges with an agenda. Boxing fans have come to recognize the admitted edge that hometown fighters get in close fights and I give Matthysse credit for again coming here.
At 29 years of age and standing 5’9, Matthysse is three years younger than Soto and has a slight height advantage. Matthysse also leads in the KO department, having destroyed 84% of his opponents. Soto has a respectable 50% KO ratio, but is not the heavy hitter that the South American is.
So will Matthysse againn lose a close match to an American fighter on US soil? Or will he prevail this time by taking matters into his own hands–literally? I am going with Matthysse. It is his turn to shine.
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