Subriel Matias seeks revenge over Petros Ananyan, targets world title fight this year
Power-punching pressure fighter Subriel Matias will face Petros Ananyan in a junior welterweight rematch at the Borgota Hotel Casino in Atlantic City on Saturday.
Matias, who is rated No. 5 by The Ring at 140 pounds, is determined to avenge the sole blemish on his otherwise spotless record.
“The fight gives me the opportunity to clarify everything and I will answer it without looking for any kind of excuse – excuses are for losers.” Matias (17-1, 17 knockouts) told The Ring through Fernando Gaztambide.
The 29-year-old Puerto Rican surprisingly lost his unbeaten record to Ananyan (UD 10) on the undercard of Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury 2 in February 2020. However, he has rebounded impressively, stopping two previously undefeated opponents – Malik Hawkins (RTD 6) and Batyrzhan Jukembayev (RTD 8).
“I have always known that in this sport you win and you lose and I lost,” Matias said candidly. “I just have to prove [myself] with facts, and answer those questions.
“I was outdone [in the first fight] and I learned a lesson. He was better than me that night. What had to happen had to happen. I am a faithful believer that God gives lessons through people and on February 22, 2020 it was my turn.”
Matias, who spent four months training in Culiacan, Mexico, with trainer Jay Najar, didn’t go into specifics on what needs to be done in order to defeat Ananyan, but suggested that he has the answers.
“Every fight is a learning and adjustments process,” he offered. “My respects to him. I love to brawl and so does he.”
Matias feels that his performances since the first fight prove that he has moved past Ananyan.
“Fans know him thanks to his victory over me,” he said. “Many saw it as a draw; others saw it by a point on my end or Ananyan’s.
“I don’t need this fight. I’m giving him the opportunity to show the world that his victory over me was no fluke. I’m giving him the opportunity to fight again to answer all questions.”
Matias’ promoter, Juan Ivan Orengo of Fresh Productions Boxing, believes undisputed junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor will move up to welterweight in the coming months and that all the belts at 140 pounds will be up for grabs.
“It will be a tough fight [against Ananyan] – 140 is a competitive division,” said Orengo. “[After this fight, Matias] will face IBF No. 1 Jeremias Ponce [for the vacant IBF title] in the summer and defend in November or December.”
Ananyan (16-2-2, 7 KOs) turned professional in 2015 and fought much of the early part of his career in Russia. The rugged Armenian scored an impressive road win over once-beaten Luca Giacon (TD 6) before losing a close but unanimous decision to Steve Claggett. A second loss followed against Kareem Martin (MD 8), however, the 33-year-old pulled the upset win over Matias before outpointing Daniel Gonzalez (MD 10)
The Showtime event will be headlined by WBC featherweight titleholder Gary Russell Jr., who faces mandatory challenger Mark Magsayo. Also on the card, Tugstsogt Nyambayar will take on late replacement Sakaria Lukas in featherweight action. The broadcast begins at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT.