In a rousing performance Subriel Matias claimed the vacant IBF junior welterweight title by forcing previously unbeaten Jeremias Ponce to retire at the end of the fifth round at the Armory, Minneapolis on February 25.
Matias, who moved to No. 3 in The Ring ratings at 140-pounds, is understandably pleased with his title triumph.
“[I’m] happy God is faithful and made a dream come true that I have wished for since I can remember,” Matias (19-1, 19 knockouts) told The Ring through Fernando Gaztambide.
“I knew that the KO would come but I understand how close the contest was. I didn’t expect his corner to remove him. I thought in my mind it was gonna be the referee who would make the decision to stop him.”
Ponce, who entered the ring sporting a prestine (30-0) ledger, started fast throwing 96 punches according to CompuBox in the opening round. However, as his numbers slowed down, Matias’ number went up and so did his accuracy to the point the Argentine fighter had nothing left and was saved by his corner.
At the time, it looked as though his team were a little quick to make the call but the fight was only going one way and and was saved from a further beating. And as we’ve seen before those prolonged effects can have on a boxer’s career and more importantly life.
To carry on against someone as fearsome as Matias would be foolhardy and it was better to save him for another day. Discretion was perhaps the better part of valor.
The 30-year-old power-punching Puerto Rican enjoyed the moment with those closest to him.
“Part of my family [were there] and people who contributed a lot to me,” he said proudly. “And the fans, their faces of happiness when they saw that they mentioned my name as the new champion.”
Matias is open to whatever is next and leaving those moves in the hands of his team, while he enjoys his new status as world champion
“It really is the work of my promoter Juan Ivan Orengo,” he said. “He knows what my vision is and what I want. I already fulfilled it and I have the IBF title in my hands.”
Orengo enjoyed the all-action title win of his fighter and hopes to bring him back in the summer.
“I’m super happy with Subriel’s performance,” said Orengo. “He did what he needed to do. Five great rounds between two warriors, that’s what we expected. We hope to see him in the ring between July and August.”
While Matias and Orengo stopped short of mentioning WBC counterpart Regis Prograis that is a unification fight that has been floated around and would be a mouth-watering proposition. However, Prograis isn’t alligned with PBC and so you wonder if Matias will instead return against one of the many in-house fighters already signed with his backers.
Whoever Matias fights will be interesting, he has a fan-friendly style that is made for TV. Frankly, it would be exciting watching him shadow box.
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].