In most sports, power is the great equalizer. In boxing, it can turn defeat to victory in an eyeblink.
Argentina's Lucas Matthysse is one of boxing's hardest hitters, a fact that has been brought to Lamont Peterson's attention numerous times this week. Peterson won't be able to gauge that power until he feels it. So until then, his approach will be not to worry about it.
"I normally don't worry about anybody's punching power before the fight," said Peterson on a media conference call this week. "I understand that it's boxing and I'm going to get hit. So I just don't worry about it. That's something that's a given. If I get hit hard or not, that really doesn't make a difference to me. I'm willing to take any shot that anybody can give out."
Peterson (31-1-1, 16 KOs) and Matthysse (33-2, 31 KOs) fight Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The fight will be waged at a catch weight of 141 pounds and will televised live on Showtime. Neither Peterson's IBF belt or Matthysse's interim WBC belt will be on the line. In the co-feature, Devon Alexander (24-1, 13 KO's), of St. Louis, will defend his IBF Welterweight Championship against number four rated IBF welterweight contender Lee Purdy (20-3-1, 13 KO's), of Colchester, England.
As for his own power, Matthysse said, during the same conference call, "It gives me a lot of confidence and I'm very calm in the fights because I know what the opponents are thinking about in order to land one punch they might get caught with one of my punches. So obviously it's a great deal of confidence that I have because of my punch."
According to the promoters, it's been difficult to find a fight for Matthysse, in large part because he is such a dangerous puncher.
"This main event is probably one of the best fights that can be made in a very talent rich weigh class," said Golden Boy COO David Itskowtich. "Lucas Matthysse is probably one of the most feared fighters on the planet and I think that's one of the reasons Lamont Peterson wanted to fight him."
Indeed. It was Peterson who sought the fight.
"A lot of people, when you hear about the best in the weight class, they were saying his name," said Peterson. "So, of course, that was the person that I wanted to fight to prove myself and to let people know that someone out here wanted to fight him. It was the media who said things like, "No one wants fight him." I'm in a division, in the same division, when I hear things like that, that are not true, it kind of gets under my skin. I'm like, "I'll fight anyone." Not being angry or anything, it's just the fact that I want to prove to everyone I'm the best at the weight class… If the person can punch really hard and he hits you clean then yes, you're going to go out. But even if the person can't punch that hard, if he hits you clean you can go out. So I mostly concentrate on not getting hit clean and that's what I'll do in this fight."