Photo and story by Ricardo Conde
With less than one week until his showdown, knockout artist and world-ranked junior welterweight contender Lucas Matthysse (27-0, 25 KOs) of Argentina finished his preparations at the World Crown Sports Training Center in Oxnard, CA and departed for Newark, NJ this morning. Matthysse faces former undisputed welterweight champion and two-time junior welterweight champion Zab “Super” Judah (39-6, 27 KOs) of Brooklyn, NY this Saturday November 6th at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, which will be shown live on HBO’s ‘Boxing After Dark’.
We caught up with Lucas Matthysse at his gym for his last workout in Oxnard, CA and had a moment to sit down and talk to him as finished preparations for his upcoming bout, here’s what he had to say:
We’re here at the World Crown Sports Training Center in Oxnard, CA where you have just finished preparations for your fight with Zab Judah, what do you know about Zab that you were able to use to help you prepare for this fight and what’s your opinion of him as a fighter?
Well, I’ve seen a lot of video on him, we studied his past fights and we’ve noticed some errors that he makes, we’ve also noticed some other things, some good, and some bad that I believe are going to help us in the fight. He’s a good fighter, he has a lot of experience, he moves around very well in the ring, basically a really good boxer. I’m very prepared though, I trained really hard and I’m very confident that we’ll win come November 6.
How was training camp here in Oxnard, CA?
Well, we’ve finished training camp very strong and now we’re just working on the weight. The truth, camp was beautiful, my trainer Luis and I are here with “Maravilla” Martinez and his trainer Gabriel Sarmiento and all of the other guys that have helped me prepare for this fight. It was a beautiful camp and I would love to come back here and train again after this fight on November 6.
With only a few days until the fight, how do you feel at this moment?
I feel great right now, just very eager and anxious to fight, but feeling great right now. Now we’re just waiting for the weigh-in and the day of the fight and looking for everything to turn out good.
What made you decide to set up training camp in Oxnard, CA?
Well, my manager had talked to me about coming to Oxnard because he had sent other fighters here and they’ve liked it and of course “Maravilla” Martinez is here and his trainer Gabriel Sarmiento and we’ll I’ve known them for a long time and that’s why we decided to come here and prepare for this fight. I’m very glad we came here.
What’s it been like training along side someone like Sergio Martinez?
It’s been great, very comfortable training with him. He’s a guy that trains extremely hard and just watching him train gives you the motivation to want to train harder so training has gone great. It’s been a real pleasure training with Sergio, he’s a great champion and I was able to learn a lot from him while I was here.
This is the first time you’ve trained outside of Argentina, did you do anything different in training camp that you haven’t done for your previous fights?
Definitely, the only thing we don’t have in Argentina is a lot of sparring or the level of sparring partners there are here. When I got here we were able to get four southpaw sparring partners that can mimic the style of Judah and that really makes a difference in preparing for a fight. My morning runs have also changed; we ran the mountains in a place called Arroyo Verde here and that helped out a lot in the preparation.
You’ll be facing someone who’s been a champion at welterweight and twice at junior welterweight; do you feel this fight with Zab Judah will be the toughest fight of your career so far?
Definitely, I think it is the toughest fight of my career so far, but we trained really hard for this fight and I’m positive things are going to go good for us.
Nine of your fights have ended in the first round, thirteen of them in either the second or the third round and only one of your fights have gone the distance, do you think this fight will end early?
I think so, I think we both have heavy hands and I’m positive there’s going to be a knockout in this fight. We’ve trained extremely hard to win by knockout.
What kind of statement are you looking to make in this fight with Zab Judah; will you be going in there looking for the knockout?
We’ll we’re going to go in there fighting intelligently; we worked on a lot of things in the gym so we’ll be patient because we know Zab Judah is a great fighter.
Should you get past Zab Judah, who would you like to face next and if you win this fight do you feel you’ll be ready for a world title fight?
Winning this fight sets me up to have bigger and better fights so we’ll fight who ever is next. First I have to win this fight, but then we’ll sit down with my promoter, everyone at Golden Boy Promotions and figure out what’s next and hopefully I’ll be fighting for a world title soon.
You’re in an extremely competitive division; there are fighters like Timothy Bradley, Devon Alexander and Amir Khan in this division, what’s your opinion of the current junior welterweight division?
It’s a very strong division to be in; there are a lot of great fighters in this division. It’s a division filled with a lot of talent and really one of the best divisions in boxing. This year we’ve seen a lot of great fights in this division and next year there should be a lot of great fights in the same division and I’m going to work hard to make sure I’m at the top of this great division.
In closing, is there anything you would like to tell the fans?
Of course, as always thank everyone for their support and to have confidence in me going into this fight. I’ve put a lot of work in the gym and trained really hard for this fight and I know we’ll come out with the win.
In his last outing the undefeated Lucas Matthysse made quick work of Rogelio Castaneda, Jr. winning via first round knockout back in August of this year and prior to that defeated former world champion “Vicious” Vivian Harris via fourth round TKO in February.
Also being featured on HBO’s doubleheader this Saturday will be three-time world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (27-1-1, 18 KOs) of Gilroy, CA taking on 2004 U.S. Olympian and top lightweight contender Vicente Escobedo (22-2, 14 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight bout for the vacant WBO Intercontinental lightweight title.