By Gustavo Castillo
When did you start boxing?
When I was 10 or 11. When my mom divorced my dad, I left with her and my sister Jennifer. After, I moved to Rafaela, where I lived with Juan Keller, a greengrocer who wanted to host boxers. He treated me like his son. It was in that house where I also met Marcos Maidana.
How (did you meet him/did this happen)?
What did you pack everytime you left?
The very little things I had. A picture of my family, if I had any. My mom worked a lot, and she gave me a camera when I was 16, as a present. Those are unforgettable memories.
How was life at the Cenard (the national team barracks)?
It was complicated, because I lost touch with many people. Sometimes my mom would come visit me, and she'd stay there, hiding unnoticed. She was the mom for everyone there, everyone would tell her how they felt. The team would ask for extra rations so that we could give them to my mom, and little by little, we filled her plate.
Do you still have that close relationship with your mom?
Yeah, of course, I am very good mate. Now in training camp, I sleep next to her. She's my mom, and I love her: I thank her that she's always with me.
How was it living with Marcos Maidana?
Very quiet, because we don't talk a lot, haha. We lived many things together, since we were kids, and we respect each other. When people say that they want to see us in the ring, I say that I don't have a problem, that if we have to fight, we'll fight. But there are so many others to fight, why do they have to bust my balls with trying to make us fight? We fought in the amateurs. He beat me 3 times, and we tied 1. Then we sparred in the national team. We both hit the canvas, I know how hard he hits, and he knows my hand too. I know what kind of punch he'll throw, and what kind of movement he'll follow with after.
Is he the one that hit you the hardest (ever)?
No. It was Humberto "La Zorrita" Soto the one who made me feel his hand the most. But I think I have a good chin, because none could tell that I was hurt.
Have you ever thought about leaving boxing?
Yeah, a bunch of times. When I lost against Judah, I felt very tired. Then with Alexander, same thing. But my daughter, Priscilla told me: "Dad, keep going, because you fight well". And I kept going because she requested it.
If you hadn't done that, what would have done?
Probably a carpenter. When I was a kid, I learned how to use tools very well. I also like tattoos. I started with a needle and some average ink. Then I made a homemade tattoo machine and I learned. Now, I have all the right tools, though. I learned how to make them when I was in the national team. If you ever look at Maidana's first tattoo, it's in his back, and I made it for him.
What happens if you beat Danny Garcia ...?
(Interrupts) i WILL beat him.
Ok, so you beat him, and then names come down raining. When are you ever going to get tired of this?
I'm still going to be the same. Maybe it'll get tougher in my everyday life. My career will change, but not me. I'm grateful to everyone who follows my career and what I'm doing. But if it was up to me, I would really like it if nobody knew me. If i go to a restaurant and they say "Lucas Matthysse, the champion" I don't go there anymore. Or if I go to the store, and they tell me "Just take it free of charge, champ", I feel bad. I work, just like everybody. I like paying for myself, I don't like gifts. I like it when people call me Lucas, not "Champ". I'm a champion on the ring, but on the ground, I'm just myself. Sometimes the guys from the gym call me "Champ" just to get my blood boiling.
How are you at home? What do you do at home?
I'm quiet, very indoor person. I don't go out to clubs. I like being at home, with my dog watching tv. Now that I have a big TV, I watch many documentaries of animals or aliens. I like war movies, but horror movies scare me a little bit, haha. If there are things on tv that don't impress me, I just change the channel.
Ha!, so you're a softie, then!
Hahaha, yeah. I transform, I'm someone else. Up in the ring, because my daughter's future my family's and my team's is in jeopardy. But when I come down, I'm like a puppy.
Carlos Monzon used to say that his opponents were thieves that came to steal his sons' bread and that's why he hated them so much.
When they tell me to go in that ring, I transform. Don't ask me what happens to me, I don't see anything. After, I watch the videos of what I do in the fight, and when I look at what I do in the ring, I get scared of myself. I get scared of how forward I am and how I hit.
Talking about fear, did you see Garcia's face after your fight with Peterson?
His face changed. More than one person that night came to see me lose. And Garcia was one of them. Before the fight, he was bragging and waving at ringside. And after I knocked Peterson out, they zoomed him in, and he looked as pale as a ghost. If I was in his place, my ass would be full of questions and doubt. Because if I go see a future rival, and he knocks someone out like I did it, I'd be as worried as he looked.
I knw my plan. I'll go out to look for MY fight. I don't care that Danny Garcia knows how to box, or if he has a good left hook. I'll go out to hit him and he won't withstand it. I dreamed the other day how the fight ended, but I won't say it. Not what round, but how the fight ended. It ended pretty well, haha
How do you feel that Danny Garcia and his father say that they're going to beat you?
I have no idea, because everything is in English. It doesn't worry me. I know that his dad talked bad things about me (literally "hit me with a pole", meaning the way he talked about him has the same effect). Let him speak whatever he wants, after all, it's only going to be me and him on the ring. I know that when I arrive to the US, he'll probably bash me in the press conference, too. But I couldn't care less for all that b*******. I don't talk, I hit. My job is to fight and win.
After this fight, who do you wanna fight?
They talk of Mayweather, Adrien Broner, and Marquez. I never chose rivals. Whoever's next is fine, I have no problems fighting anyone. I am 30 years old and my idea is to keep fighting until I'm 32 or 33. I love the gym and working out, but I've been doing the same thing for such a long time. I want to enjoy and spend time with my family. I know that if I win these fights, my daughter's future will be great.
translation by Jose Acebal