COMMENTARY | After a string of dominant, brutal and concussive victories, culminating with his three round demolition of Lamont Peterson in May, the boxing world couldn't get enough of The Machine - Lucas Matthysse. So much so that Matthysse (34-3, 32 KOs) was installed as the 2-to-1 betting favorite against undefeated defending champion Danny "Swift" Garcia (27-0, 16 KOs).
However, he ran into somebody who had the guts, and the chin, to stand up to the incoming fire and dish back his own arsenal in return. Garcia sent Matthysse down for the first time of his career, hammered his right eye shut, and won a tight Unanimous Decision.
The loss halts Matthysse's meteoric rise, but he's still sitting right near the top of the Junior Welterweight division, and his power ensures that he's an attraction that fans will clamor to see. There's a wealth of big names and potential opponents in and around his division, and Matthysse has shown a willingness to step into the ring against anybody. Here are the top choices.
Adrien Broner vs. Marcos Maidana Winner
Broner and Maidana are set to square off in December, and either man emerges as a prime candidate for Matthysse. If Broner wins, Matthysse has a chance to impose Argentinean justice for his countryman Maidana. If Maidana wins, then fight fans will have a chance to live the dream of a Maidana-Matthysse fight, it would be a rematch of numerous amateur battles, and one alleged under the radar backroom brawl, and a surefire slugfest between two of the hardest hitters and most ferocious warriors in the game.
Mike Alvarado vs. Ruslan Provodnikov Winner
Talk about surefire slugfests, Alvarado vs. Provodnikov is one, and the winner against Matthysse is another. This is the type of fun fight that fans always, a nonstop toe-to-toe rumble between the Heavyweights of the Junior Welterweights. Unmovable meet unbreakable. Enough said. Unfortunately, it's the least likely fight on this list, due to the ongoing absurdity that is Top Rank's impasse with Golden Boy.
Matthysse fought Judah in November 2010. It was his first fight on the big stage, and he lost a disputed decision. Judah controlled the early portion of the fight while Matthysse came on late, but ran out of time to close the show. Since then, Matthysse has improved dramatically, while Judah has ebbed and flowed between comeback wins juxtaposed against losses while facing the sport's elite. Now, each man is fresh off a loss to Garcia, and a rematch makes perfect sense.
Devon Alexander vs. Amir Khan Winner
Matthysse's other previous defeat came at the hands of Devon Alexander. If the Judah fight was close but disputed - I actually believe it was a fair decision despite Matthysse's strong finish - this one smelled much worse, and most observers felt Matthysse had done more than enough to claim the win. Now, Alexander is a titleholder at Welterweight, and Matthysse would love a chance to settle the score. Meanwhile, if Khan defeats Matthysse, it's another logical match. Fans want to see Khan challenged by hard punchers, and both Khan and Matthysse have lost to Garcia, and could use a win to angle back towards a rematch against him.
Robert Guerrero vs. Keith Thurman Winner
Guerrero and Thurman are also slated to meet this fall. Coming off a loss to Mayweather, Guerrero is looking to get back in the title mix, while Thurman is looking to justify all of the hype around him and his "One Time" power with his biggest win to date. Either way, the winner would make a great fight for Matthysse. Against Thurman's, it's another trip to puncher's paradise, and against "The Ghost", who never backs down from anybody, we'd see a war of attrition which netted the winner another major payday.
Jake Emen runs the boxing news website ProBoxing-Fans.com, where you can find breaking news stories, interviews, rankings and more. You can also follow Jake and ProBoxing-Fans.com on Twitter,@ProBoxingFans.
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