Oscar De La Hoya said the upcoming slugfest between Lucas Martin Matthysse and Ruslan Provodnikov is a fight that “needs no promotion.”
“These are the types of events that obviously belong on HBO Championship Boxing,” De La Hoya said in a conference call promoting the fight. “And we are just thrilled and excited to be part of it.”
Following the split of Al Haymon fighters from HBO and Golden Boy Promotions, the companies responded by working together to deliver a sure fire, fight of the year candidate. The bout is a gift for boxing insiders who know match-ups like this are the gems in a sea of duds. While highly promoted mega fights rarely live up to their billing, fights like this often exceed expectations.
“Come April 18th,” De La Hoya said, “the whole world will know the best 140 pounders will be fighting on that night.”
Since Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia have recently competed above the 140 pound limit, and Chris Algieri rumored to be fighting at 147 next, plus the fact that Adrien Broner has yet to face the top of the 140 pound division, De La Hoya may have a point, although no title belts will be on the line.
“These are exactly the fights that the fans want to see,” De La Hoya said. “Whether there’s a title on the line or no title, or where it takes place. You know, these are the fights that the fans deserve.”
The reason expectations for this Matthysse-Provodnikov are so high is due to the manner in which both fighters carry themselves inside the ring. Both are straightforward fighters that relentlessly stalk their opponents like something out of a horror movie. Between the two, they have a combined 60 wins with 51 knockouts against six defeats.
They are classified as brawlers because of their punching power and relentless pressure that knocks their opponent cold or forces them to quit. Not only that but both are coming off of knockout victories and fight of the year honors. Provodnikov received his “FOY” in 2013 for his fight against Timothy Bradley and Matthysse’s “FOY came in 2014 for his knockdown, drag-out war against John Molina.
When the fight was announced, fans were hoping it would land at either the StubHub Center in Los Angeles or one of the more popular venues in New York. De La Hoya said the reason it wasn’t is because none of those venues were available.
Either way ringside seats have already sold out and fans watching at home won’t care where it takes place when they see the two gladiators dig into each other.
Boxing seems be getting into the habit of giving fans the fights they want for a change and the trend continues this weekend.
“With the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight happening, with Canelo fighting (Kirkland) and this fight here,” De La hoya said, “I mean this is what the fans want to see and we’re just excited to be part of it.”