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Subriel Matias doesn’t see IBF 140-pound title clash with Jeremias Ponce going the distance

Subriel Matias (left). Photo by Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME
Fighters Network
23
Feb

On Saturday, big-punching Puerto Rican Subriel Matias and Jeremias Ponce will contest the vacant IBF junior welterweight title at the Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Matias, The Ring’s No. 4-rated junior welterweight, appreciates the magnitude of this fight and believes it will be an engaging fight for the fans watching.

“[This fight] is the most important of my career because it is my first [world] title [fight],” Matias (18-1, 18 knockouts) told The Ring through Fernando Gaztambide. “The fight will last for as long as it lasts. I think that the styles lend themselves to the knockout before the last bell.”

The two have been tabbed to meet since undisputed 140-pound champion Josh Taylor relinquished his IBF crown last August. Matias-Ponce went to purse bid and was won by TGB Promotions on behalf of PBC, who bid $510,000. Both men have circled each other since and seen several dates fall out and change.



“Apparently Jeremías’ team had its drawbacks,” said Matias. “But now, thank God, everything is in order and there is already a date.

“Training has been great but the real answer is on fight night.”

In his most recent fight Matias gained revenge over Petros Ananyan (RTD 9), who is the only man to have beaten him as a professional. The fearsome 30-year-old will snap a 13-month period of inactivity, though he has been working diligently.

“I rested for a month,” he explained. “I kept running, [and was] in the gym until I was quarantined in the state of Jiquipilco, Mexico, from May 2 to [the present].”

The extended time in Mexico has been far from ideal for Matias.

“I think that the most frustrating thing has been not being close to my daughters and family,” he said.

However, it will all be worthwhile if Matias can emerge victorious and join WBO junior flyweight titlist Jonathan Gonzalez as his countries second reigning male world champion.

“It would mean a lot [to become champion,]” he said. “I see myself as a champion but now I have the opportunity to make it happen on February 25.”

Heading into this under-the-radar fight both men will be confident of victory. It’s an exciting, fan-friendly match up, which should see both men look to engage. When Matias fights it’s usually exciting and this fight figures to be no different. The Puerto Rican is more experienced, having fought in America against a higher level of opposition, and will be slightly favored to win.

Ponce (30-0, 20 KOs) turned professional in 2015. He built his record up largely fighting at home in Argentina, winning various sanctioning body titles before picking up the national and South American belts.

The 26-year-old’s big break came when he traveled to England and dominated Lewis Ritson (TKO 10) in June 2021. Since then, he has marked time with two low-key wins in Germany, while waiting for his world title shot.

 

Matias-Ponce, plus supporting undercard, will be broadcast on Showtime at 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT.

 

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on

Twitter@AnsonWainwright

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