Tuesday, October 04, 2022  |



Subriel Matias gets his revenge in stopping Petros Ananyan in nine

Subriel Matias (left). Photo by Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

It had haunted Subriel Matias. Defeats usually do that. Especially when it’s the only one that marks your ledger—like the Matias’ loss to Petros Ananyan in February 2020.

It was the second fight since Matias fought since Maxim Dadashev tragedy on July 19, 2019, when Dadashev died four days after he fought Matias.

Matias patiently got his revenge with a ninth-round knockout Saturday night on the co-feature of WBC featherweight titlist Gary Russell Jr.’s defense against Mark Magsayo on Showtime’s Championship Boxing from the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J.

“Two years ago, Ananyan knocked me off my path to the world title,” Matias said. “I’ve been waiting for the fight ever since then. This is what I trained to do. My goal was to get him out of there. I had to prove in this fight that I was the better man. I’m thankful for the opportunity to face a warrior like Ananyan. If you don’t take him seriously, he’ll beat you.

“This is the fight that I always wanted. Ever since my defeat to him, I wanted to avenge the loss. When you’re sure about yourself and you know that you have the skills that you have, you take the rematch.”

Matias (18-1, 18 knockouts) stuck with a power attack, landing 42% of his power punches (167 of 420) to Ananyan’s 36% (134 of 372). Matias also connected on 59 body punches, while Ananyan landed a mere12 in comparison.

By the third, Ananyan’s face began busting up. Matias pounded Ananyan with accurate shots and it started to take a toll.

In the fourth, Ananyan (16-3-2, 7 KOs) burrowed forward, and Matias kept catching him with right uppercuts and straight lefts. Matias could not miss Ananyan if he tried. As Ananyan returned to his corner after the round, his left eye was almost swollen shut, and face was growing even redder. Matias dropped a few body shots, though Ananyan never showed any quit.

He had Matias up against the ropes for a moment, landing a barrage of punches. It was a brief storm that Matias weathered well.

In the sixth, Ananyan came forward again, backing up Matias and showing a second gear. With :17 left in the sixth, Ananyan let out a big “Whoop!” after nailing Matias with a variety of inside punches.

With 2:41 left in the seventh, referee Mary Glover deducted a point from Matias for a low blow. The fighters ended the seventh going at each other nonstop, neither fighter willing to relinquish an inch.

By the eighth, it was not so much a matter of ability, but a matter of wills.

Whose will would bend?

In the ninth, Matias was crippling Ananyan with body shots, and slowing his work rate. By this time, Ananyan’s face was as red as his trunks. He fought back, though he couldn’t do anything to avoid Matias.

Finally, with :02 left in the ninth, a Matias’ left hook to the chin sent Ananyan to canvas.

Beaten, swollen and warn, Ananyan couldn’t answer the bell for the 10th.

“I’m not just a hard-hitter but the way that I fight is like cutting down a tree,” Matias said. “Just keep hitting them. I think I can improve my power but let’s see what happens with time. I’m going to take my time. I want to thank everybody who made this fight possible but I’m going to take my time before deciding who I will fight next.”

On the undercard, junior middleweight Evan Holyfield (9-0, 6 KOs) remained undefeated with a spirited unanimous six-round victory over the game Chris Rollins (5-4-1, 4 KOs). Junior featherweight Abimael Ortiz (10-1-1, 5 KOs) won an eight-round decision over Ryan Allen (10-6-1, 5 KOs). Middleweight LeShawn Rodriquez (13-0, 10 KOs) stopped Sixto Suazo (9-3-1, 7 KOs) at 1:36 of the first round.

Japanese featherweight southpaw Katsuma Akitsugi (8-0, 1 KOs) remained undefeated with a six-round unanimous decision over Rasheen Brown (11-1, 7 KOs). Welterweight Max Garland made a successful pro debut with a second-round at 1:44 over Marik Black (1-1-1, 1 KO).

Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/RingTV.com since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.


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