Theater of the Unexpected: Postol KOs Matthysse

By Ted Sares on October 3, 2015
Theater of the Unexpected: Postol KOs Matthysse
HBO warned that this would be no “gimme” for La Máquina. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

With Lucas Matthysse’s knockout Saturday night, the Argentinean boxing surge seems to have abetted for now…

Reportedly, Freddie Roach had said during training that Viktor “The Iceman” Postol was his “new favorite fighter.” By the end of the eighth round in tonight’s shocker, it was abundantly clear why. Postol (now 28-0) is the latest sensation from Eastern Europe and he can flat-out box blending technical skills with power.

The first few rounds were feeling out types but Postol began finding a rhythm while La Máquina (37-4) kept stalking and looking for the game changer. He almost found it in the sixth with a straight right that hurt his taller opponent, but The Iceman weathered the storm and, using his length and reach, took over from that point on. Using great movement to avoid Lucas’s vicious left hook and long jabs that peppered Matthysse along with draining shots to the body, Postol looked like he was on cruise control for a unanimous decision win as he began hitting Matthysse almost at will, something no other opponent had ever come close to doing. 

Then, in the 10th round, Postol connected with a perfect right that caught a lunging Lucas squarely on the left eye and put him down. While it appeared the Argentinean would get up he chose to stay down, indicating that something had snapped in his eye and chose not to risk further injury. One look at his battered and bloodied face seemed to affirm that decision. Still, the right that ended the fight came out of the blue and was a stunner.

Those who witnessed The Iceman’s dramatic knockout of rugged Turk Selcuk Aydin in May 2014 knew he was not to be taken lightly and would be a very live underdog. Even the HBO team—to their credit—warned that this would be no “gimme” for La Máquina. Maybe the Provodnikov fight in April took something out of Lucas or maybe he and his team were overconfident but whatever the case, the Argentinean boxing surge seems to have abetted for now.

Sergio Martinez is gone. Marcos Maidana is enjoying the fruits of his labor back home, and Luis Carlos Abregu was stopped by Sadam Ali last year. Now the seemingly indestructible aura of Lucas Matthysse has been shattered. 

Another Argentinean, Cesar Rene Cuenca (48-0), is scheduled to fight Russian Eduard Troyanovsky (22-0) on November 4, 2015, with the IBF and IBO World super lightweight titles at stake. Should Cuenca win, some of the luster will be restored.

Meanwhile, Viktor Postol has stamped his name on the boxing landscape as someone to watch and enjoy in future fights.

Ted Sares is one of the world’s oldest active power lifters and holds several world and state records. He enjoys writing about boxing.

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  1. Dollarbond 04:47pm, 10/12/2015

    Nice job by the referee on this one

  2. dj 01:23pm, 10/08/2015

    That was a vicious, fight changing head but. He might have won anyway, but that was intentional and should have been called. So obvious.

  3. Tex Hassler 07:35pm, 10/06/2015

    One of the things about boxing that makes it very interesting is that the man who is supposed to win does not always win.  Great win for Postol!

  4. KB 04:59am, 10/06/2015

    Thank you TSS. Great comments on this thread

  5. TheSweetScience 07:10pm, 10/05/2015

    KB! Wow, good call! Benavidez would be a really smart fight to take… And yes, i believe Postol would expose him, hurt him! That could actually be an actual boxing fans’ classic to watch! Sign that one up. Good call.
    I also completely agree about Postol’s beard. Crawford, i believe, would win by decision. Not by KO NOR TKO. Watching the fight with my dad, i was disgruntled about the mess of early rounds, and for some reason i was really pulling for Lucas, to prove to me that boxing hasnt gone certain routes (whole other conversation haha)... But as the fight wore on, i turned to my dad, and said “ya know, one thing i can really say about Postol’s agrument to win this if it goes 12, is the guys’s beard is great”. He really proved something to me after it seemed Matthysse had figured him out, and would TKO Postol. He took lucas’s brutal punches, wobbled, looked dazed, and yet figured it all out. That, and the rhythm the fight took, and jack reiss’s style of ref’ing whenever the fight attempted to come inside (i could understand why he broke them up so often… Lots of rabbit punching in the clinch. But after the early rounds, all inside attempts were broken up. Lucas’s only chance of winning. That broke his desire to figure the late rounds out). Also, the ending punch, was a fast, brutal, perfectly timed, clear shot. It woulda hurt lucas no matter what… But i do believe it being coupled with that earlier headbutt (surprisingly, one of the worst butts ive seen! Tho it kinda slipped by mostly un-spoken), is what made it worse.
    You make great points on this fight! Thank u for wading thru my essays too haha. Theres alot of good conversation following this fight! It seems to have brought out all the good commenters i see n this forum!

  6. KB 05:17pm, 10/05/2015

    I’d love to see him expose Jose Benavidez OR LET Provodnikov TAKE ANOTHER BEATING AND THEN FINSIH HIM OFF.

  7. KB 05:00pm, 10/05/2015

    TSS, I agree. Let the guy have some easy fights and make some egg money before he starts thinking about Crawford. But whether Crawford could take him out is another question because he has quite a beard. From a risk-reward standpoint, you fight this guy at your peril.

  8. KB 04:58pm, 10/05/2015

    Koolz, the punch landed flush oh his eye. No thumb, no nothing. Just a monster right that as thrown as LM kind of lunged in increasing the impact of the punch. You could see Lucas’s face contort as he went down fast. I think it would have rendered unconscious many other fighters but LM is one tough hombre. I did not that there was a lot of blood right after the punch—some coming from his nose. His face was battered. If he says he was worried about his future, there is no reason for me to doubt otherwise.

  9. KB 04:53pm, 10/05/2015

    Good point Bikermike. The HBO team agrees with you on that.

  10. TheSweetScience 04:27pm, 10/05/2015

    Bud Crawfor is too smart, as well as strong for current Postol.
    Are Postol and Amir Imam near one another in weight class? Hmmmm. Good stuff

  11. TheSweetScience 04:25pm, 10/05/2015

    Thank u very much KB! Glad u read it.
    I do apologize for it being wordy and a bit jumbled haha, i should take a moment after fights,since they fire me up so much. I should calm myself before posting haha.
    I thank u though. Especially since i tend to really like your comments!

    As for those that asked if matthysse had gotten poked at the end, etc…
    I did notice a rush of blood that immediately had dripped from his face as soon as taking a knee. I believe the punch was so wide open and direct, that it popped vessels. I wondr if his cheek/socket bone has any damage.
    What i truly felt though, was that the punch wasnt quite so much the only reason he suffered like that, so instantly. There was a huge headbutt as he moved on the outside and Postol drove inward, a few rounds prior. Matthysse took the full brunt of the butt, due to it being the top of Postol’s head, driving directly into Matthysse… The same area the punch put him down at th end of the fight.
    It was all so strange. Lucas has been in way worse of trouble in fights, and has pulled through against so many phenomenal fighters. Yes, the wear and tear may have caught up to him a bit (he is not the Gatekeeper persay… But it seems all great young fighters end up being handed to him over and over again. I feel for Lucas).
    If it were against any other boxer, i woulda been rooting for Postol. Well, not all boxers, but most. After all Lucas has endured, i just feel he deserved a true matchup. This one was not fit for him. It seemed odd that the ref coached Viktor often, but all he would say to Matt. Was “stop doing this, or that”. The broadcasters only spoke of Postol. It just seemed the whole night was for Postol. And yes, Roache had a brilliant gameplan. Seemed funny that he devised the same plan that he hated Mayweather for, but at least it had a few twists haha. Postol was corrct, freddy and the boys ansolutely made him a champ… Literally. I will cheer for postol in later days, but this night made me sad.
    I will say though… Postol is not ready for BuD Crawford!  Bud can punch AND think a fight through, more than most. Postol is riding high, but they should not think Crawford wont pick him apart.
    What about Postol vs Amir Imam? Are they anywhere close in weight classes?

  12. bikermike 04:16pm, 10/05/2015

    Saw this one…
    I’m going to give the referee cudos…..Had he not stopped Postol from his holding tactics….it would have been a boring match.
    Once the cheap tactics used by Postol were out…the match became much more interesting.

  13. Koolz 03:15pm, 10/05/2015

    KB did Matthysse get a hook to the eye or side of the eye at that last moment?  or was he thumbed by accident? 

    Yes the later rounds Postol was coming alive when he let his hands go.
    Roach had a good plan.

  14. KB 11:32am, 10/05/2015

    Yes, Koolz, you can imagine the damage that is done in a street fight, Detached retina’s, broken eye socket bones, and worse. Some boxers in the past have been notorious for thumbing.

  15. Koolz 10:57am, 10/05/2015

    Matthysse stayed down because he was blind for bit and panicked, (who wouldn’t)  well “limitation that is no limitation.”

    But losing your sight for bit after getting nailed in the face by the eye is very scary scenario in boxing.

    How easy is it to explode someones eye?  With Gloves I have no idea with your fist you hit right at the side of the Eye(by the temple) and pull back pushing your energy into it(scary stuff) 

    you could also hit with the palm and pushing energy into it. 

    just horrible things thank god for Boxing Gloves!

  16. KB 07:48am, 10/05/2015

    OK Andrew. Point taken

  17. KB 07:34am, 10/05/2015


  18. KB 07:34am, 10/05/2015

    Nice post SS

  19. TheSweetScience 11:30pm, 10/04/2015

    Anyone else feel as if Mattysse stayed down because he had given in to the constant stoppages and coaching theoughout the fight (during in-fighting), that shoulda taken place before the fight when referrees state what they wil and will not accept? Everytime the SMALLER man, Mattysse, went forward, took Postol’s punishment to do so, to be able to get his much shorter frame inside and begin fighting, the back of the head was cupped, and the words “stop” or “break” happened. Yes, i get it, the ref did hone out a fight from within a mess that had taken seed, but it was only for postol, as lucas just got scolded the word Stop when he plowed inside. People say he did make it i side but then froze up instead of fighting once he got in there. I believe that to bebause his movement was stopped almost everytime, and it was his only chance to have his weapons in his advantage. Youcan clearly count how many times Lucas was stopped im his trax, then he followed with a frustrated dropping of his head tiward his feet, with a scowl of “come om man”. I never saw Lucas in this manner. He is thebtrue blood n guts warrior thatgoes out on his shield, and just flat out wins when everone had chosen him for a possible fight as gatekeeper To propell smaller fighters up to gold shots. I ama great fan of fref roache, but i kinda felt he taught postol the exact gameplan that he spent ten years destroying when mayweather enforced it… Cant beat em, join em? Eith the next favorite? Hm. Shall see.  But i do still have the vision in my mind that the punch was nothing different than lucas felt in all his brutal wars… Quite weaker actually). I just think the massive headbutt that occured to his face was an intergral part of his deflation, as well as having his hands tied. It frustrated him to an end, cuz he looked read good for the two lil rounds that postal actually, after coaching from the ref and coaches during in-fighting, when postolfough for a minute un-a-mess, lucas stumbled him a few times at very least! Such a straight site to see, lucas mattysse, a “gate keeper”. After going to war with constant tuff opposition je was told he wasnt able to beat, beats almostball of them in stunning fashion… Finally gets a belt chance (why only now? Why this long? He fought brutal fights), and when the bell rang, it was clear he is the gatekeeper for the upcoming man that hasnt walked an inch in a mattysse mike. I like postol a Ton. Im talking current truth only. Mattyssee deserved a true chance, without body lengths not in the way (which can be just as harsh as weight not being cut by a fighter… Both body advantages do the same thing.just on different sad for lucas. Which sux, cuz i like postol. Shall see

  20. Fe'Roz 10:03pm, 10/04/2015

    Just my opinion but I don’t think many trainers will be interested in what is now a high risk/no reward fight with Viktor Postol; spoiler extraordaire. I know I wouldn’t

  21. KB 06:42pm, 10/04/2015

    Yes they did

  22. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:30pm, 10/04/2015

    Broner was a middleweight last night and you can bet your ass that 6’ tall Postol was a Super Welterweight….they both beat the fuk out of tough little guys.

  23. KB 06:18pm, 10/04/2015

    Interesting from another article:

    “When [Viktor] came back to his corner [after 9], I told him ‘this guy’s about to quit’ and he said ‘when?’ – I went ‘right now,” Roach said to fighthubtv.

    “The combinations [Postol] was landing, I just saw [Matthysse] fading and getting weaker and weaker and weaker and less aggressive and he was showing all the signs of somebody that don’t wanna be in there anymore – he was very tired I think,” Roach continued.

  24. kb 05:45pm, 10/04/2015

    Thanks Walter. Glad I could help.

    Now then Koolz, why are you being so truculent? The Uke fought a smart fight. Hitting and holding is, in fact, ugly but it’s also effective. LM was looking ahead to a fight with Manny when he should have been looking at the films of Postol vs. Aydin. His corner was clueless. No Plan Two. No ability to adjust.

    Postol didn’t run in my opinion. He moved to the right to avoid LM’s hook and that was just plain smart. His ring 1Q is solid; not so sure about .

  25. Big Wally 05:12pm, 10/04/2015

    Thanks for the wrap-up Bull. I didn’t see it.

  26. Koolz 01:58pm, 10/04/2015

    KB what the heck are you talking about Angst?  Yes the Machine fought a Terrible fight but it was Postol that was constantly holding his arm every time he got close.  I have seen fights where a few of those will deduct a point, then there was both of them hitting each other in the back of the head.

    Granted Postol had good plan with Roach and using his long arms to keep The machine away is a good plan.  There was some head butting of Postol too.  Most of Postol shots during the fight were just hitting The Machine’s Gloves.

    Now I only watched the fight once but that last bit looked like a head butt or was it a hook to the eye?

    I didn’t like the fight by either guy.  Postol ran all night The Machine isn’t Golovkin doesn’t know how to cut off the ring.  He had trouble getting close to Postol. 

    Just not a good fight(my opinion)  Isn’t that a Ward technique grabbing an arm holding then upper cutting on the inside?

    It was an ugly fight not my forte.

  27. KB 12:49pm, 10/04/2015

    Koolz, I don’t get your POST AND ATTENDANT angst. LM fought a terrible fight and deserved to lose. Postol had a plan and stuck to it. Why is he terrible?

  28. Koolz 12:36pm, 10/04/2015

    I can’t stand Postol!  I mean what the heck this was the boxing match of illegal boxing.  holding Mattysse’s arm both fighters constantly hitting behind the head.
    And the Machine just a horrible display with dealing with a long range jabber, pathetic corner.

    Looked like The Machine got hit in the eye or something happened.

    I honestly don’t think Postol deserved the win.

  29. andrew 11:21am, 10/04/2015

    “Abet” means to encourage. It is part of a legal term making those who aid or abet others to commit a crime equally guilty, like Kelly Gissendaner, who was put to death last week for having aided or abetted her lover in the murder of her husband.
    To “abate” is to decrease or diminish.
    Just saying.

  30. KB 09:16am, 10/04/2015

    And props to Roach

  31. KB 09:15am, 10/04/2015

    Fe’Roz, Chavez will lose to Brook—easily I believe.

  32. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:08am, 10/04/2015

    Does he have a torn retina? He said he felt something go pop and that he went blind for a moment… he seeing double at this time? Has he been examined by a specialist? The right eye with Garcia and now the left eye….he could have gotten up….he wasn’t stricken lying flat on his back….he made a conscious decision not to get up….clearly his mindset was safety first…’s his life and his eyesight. He should retire now and so should Broner with his bullshit calling out of “Ashley”....ihe was KOd by Spence in sparring so any fight other than Spence is just more bullshit.

  33. Fe'Roz 11:33pm, 10/03/2015

    You forgot that Diego Chaves is fighting Kell Brook

  34. Fe'Roz 11:29pm, 10/03/2015

    I was at both the Forum when Postol landed his pefect combination on Aydin and I was certain when I went to see him tonight at the StubHub that anyone who was sleeping on him, whether it be Matthysse, his corner, or his many fans, was sadly and poorly uninformed. The man can box. And punch. Following what was clearly a very specific game plan to neutralize, frustrate and then set up Matthysse, Postol proven to be not just a great student but very much the real thing. As I said to the shocked fans seated next to me: “That was no fluke. That is Lucas Matthysse he just knocked out!” Props to the Iceman. And to Freddie Roach

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