By Eric Thomas: The World Boxing Association has ordered #3 WBA Lucas Matthysse and #1 Tewa Kiram to fight for their WBA regular welterweight title. This is the title that Lamont Peterson recently vacated.
It’s the secondary WBA 147 lb. title. Keith “One Time” Thurman holds the upper level WBA 147 lb. tile. The WBA calls it their Super World 147 lb. title. Matthysse (38-4, 35 KOs) and the little known unbeaten 25-year-old Kiram (38-0, 28 KOs) will be fighting for the WBA World welterweight title.
Supposedly the WBA is in the process of reducing the amount of titles they have in each division, but it looks like they’re going to take their time before they go about doing that for the welterweight division.
Matthysse vs. Kiram figures to be a dreadful massacre. Matthysse is so much more experienced and talented. Kiram, with his inflated record, he’s nowhere near the level of Matthysse. Kiram is basically a novice fighter with a mostly padded record. Matthysse will likely obliterate Kiram like he did Roberto Ortiz three years ago in 2014. For boxing fans who remember that fight. Ortiz came into the Matthysse fight with a padded record of 31-0, and he was promptly destroyed in 2 rounds. Matthysse made short work of Ortiz. The thing is, Ortiz looked like a world beater compared to Kiram.
Matthysse, 35, recently emerged from a 1 ½ year layoff to defeat Emmanuel Taylor by a 5th round knockout on May 6th. Matthysse knocked Taylor down twice in the fight in the 3rd and 5th rounds. In 2015, Matthysse suffered an eye injury in a 10th round stoppage loss to Viktor Postol. The eye injury was the reason for the stoppage loss for Matthysse.
Kiram’s last 6 fights have come against these little-known fighters:
• Ramadhani Shauri
• Vijender Kumar
• Wellem Reyk
• Vladimir Baez
• Larry Siwu
• Alexandr Zhuravskiy
Kiram has the youth advantage over Matthysse, but I’m afraid that he’s going to need a lot more than that for him to beat the Argentinian slugger. There are only a couple of guys that have been able to beat Matthysse, and those were fighters with major talent. Kiram does not seem to be anywhere near the class that he needs to be for him to hang with Matthysse.
If Matthyse can win the WBA title, then it’s possible we could see him face Keith Thurman at some point. That would be a good fight.
It’s good news the WBA is going to have their vacant WBA ‘regular’ welterweight title fought for. It’s just bad that they’ve picked out an inexperienced fighter like Kiram as one of the guys that is fighting for their title. Kiram is from Thailand, and he’s fought a lot of fights over there, but his competition has been nothing short of woeful.
When Kiram recently stepped it up against a very average fighter in Vladimir Baez last year, he was having some major problems with him. Baez was bouncing shots off Kiram’s head and looking like a champion instead of a mediocre fighter with no real wins under his belt. Kiram’s record of fluff opponents is even worse than Baez’s. It would have been nice if the WBA had waited until Kiram beat a quality fighter before they gave him a No1 ranking with their organization.
The WBA also ordered 2 other fights this week. #1 WBA Rances Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KOs) will be fighting #2 WBA and Kiryl Relikh (21-2, 19KOs) for the vacant WBA 140 lb. title. This is the belt that was recently vacated by Terence Crawford. This fight makes a lot more sense than the Matthysse-Kiram fight. The 31-year-old Barthelemy recently defeated Relikh by a controversial 12 round unanimous decision on May 20 at Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Relikh appeared to do more the fight, but the judges gave it to Barthelemy by the scores 116-110, 115-111 and 117-109. The 117-109 score was especially disturbing, as that judge was giving Barthelemy a lot of rounds that appeared to be dominated by Relikh. Both fighters were down. Barthelemy was dropped in round 5, and Relikh was knocked own in round 8.
Boxing News 24 scored the fight for Relikh by the score 116-110. It’s good that the WBA ordered a rematch between Barthelemy and Relikh. The management for the two fighters have 30 days to try and put the fight together. If the fight isn’t put together during that time there will be a purse bid. It’s good that the WBA will be having Relikh and Barthelemy fighting in a rematch, so they can clear up the controversy from their fight last May.
WBA World super featherweight champion Albert Machado (19-0, 16 KO) will be defending against #2 WBA Rafael Mensah (31-0, 23 KO). This is another mismatch. Mensah has the same kind of padded record as Kiram has with nothing but weak opposition during years as a pro. Machado and Mensah have 30 days to negotiate their fight. The clock on the negotiations started running on November 6.