Matthysse-Provodnikov Photos: Ed Mulholland | Crawford-Dulorme Photos: Will Hart
By Eric Raskin
The best boxing matches are typically the ones that provide the most drama. The best boxing weigh-ins are typically the ones that provide the least drama. All you can hope for is that the fighters make weight and avoid getting into an impromptu brawl that risks scuttling the contest. Going by those criteria, the weigh-ins for this Saturday night’s HBO split-side doubleheader were both smashing successes.
Lucas Matthysse, Ruslan Provodnikov, Terence Crawford, and Thomas Dulorme all weighed in without incident, coming in under the 140-pound limit on their first attempts. At Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York, Matthysse tipped the scales at 139, followed by Provodnikov at 139.5. In Arlington, Texas, Dulorme checked in at 139.2, followed by Crawford at 139.8. This is former lightweight titleholder Crawford’s first fight as a junior welterweight and he looked positively ripped, making you wonder where he was finding an additional five pounds to cut just five months ago.
While the actual making of weight for Crawford-Dulorme was drama-free, their engagement in the traditional stare-down moments later packed plenty of intensity. They went nose to nose for a solid minute, and when underdog Dulorme’s promoter Gary Shaw tried to get the fighters to face the audience and the bank of cameras to pose for photos, both pugilists refused to break their gaze. Instead they started talking trash (inaudibly for the viewing audience, sadly, and presumably in different languages) while their eyes remained locked on each other until members of their teams finally pulled them apart with no formal fighting poses ever assumed.
“I’m ready, this is my year,” Dulorme said through an interpreter. “2015 is the Dulorme year, and I’m going to rip him apart tomorrow.”
Crawford was asked about his move up in weight and whether Dulorme appeared bigger than him. “Not at all,” said the reigning Fighter of the Year. “I feel great. I feel physically strong.”
Some 1,500 miles northeast, Provodnikov and Matthysse got along significantly better than their counterparts in Texas. Their stare-down ended after just a few seconds when Provodnikov broke into a smile, with Matthysse flashing his own pearly whites immediately upon seeing his opponent’s.
“I’m focused, I’m determined, I’m ready to go,” Matthysse simply stated.
“I can only say one thing: I’m not going to disappoint any of my fans,” said Provodnikov. “You’ll see everything you expect to see tomorrow.”
Let’s hope so. The weigh-ins both went according to script. If the fights do as well, this will be a memorable night of gloved warfare indeed.