Subriel Matias Captures IBF Junior Welterweight Crown By TKO
Hard hitting junior welterweight Subriel Matias had promised a kayo in his first world title shot. And, Saturday night in Minnesota, he got it.
The Puerto Rican Matias stopped Jeremias Ponce of Argentina after five rounds, thus handing him his first loss, in the main event of the Showtime/PBC card and Matias became the IBF world champ at 140 lb.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) February 26, 2023
Fighting for one of the titles vacated by former undispued champ Josh Taylor last year, Matias, now 19-1, 19 KOs, dominated the final four rounds of the bout with swarming combinations. And, he was simply too much for Ponce, eventually dropping him late in round five with a series of rights and lefts.
Ponce, now 30-1, got up and finished the round, but was clearly dazed and his corner elected to stop the bout for the TKO for Matias. That happened, despite Ponce clearly dominating the first round with lead rights to get control of the bout.
However, Matias scored effectively inside in the fourth and fifth to score his fourth straight win, since his only pro loss in 2020.
“What I wanted to do was to knock him out. I was looking to knock him out in the sixth round,” Matias told Showtime through an interpreter. “So, I wasn’t surprised that they stopped the fight.”
“I saw he was hurt, going back and I’m like a lion going for a feast and I got it.”
The victory puts the 30 year old Matias in position for a possible unification bout at 140 lb. later in 2023.
On the undercard
Earlier, former WBA secondary welterweight champ Jamal “Shango” James made his return to the ring for the first time in nearly a year and a half and scored a 10 round unanimous decision over Alberto Palmetta. The Minneapolis native James, now 28-2, 12 KOs, was the busier and more effective fighter outlanding Palmetto by nearly 50 more power punches over the 10 round bout.
James, who has fought Covid-19 repeatedly, including last Fall which postponed the flight with Palmetta until now, appear to be tiring late in the fight. And, he was even heard on the Showtime microphones telling his corner that he felt, “all f*cked up” because of previous bouts with Covid-19.
Still, James persevered, and was the faster and more effective puncher in this one winning unanimously on scores of 99-91 and 98-92 x 2. He was fighting for the first time, since losing to Radzhab Butaev by TKO in October 2021.
In the opening fight of the evening for the Showtime triple header, junior welterweight Elvis Rodriguez scored an impressive win even though he is 10 round was announced as only a majority decision. The Puerto Rican Rodriguez improved to 14 – 1 – 1, 12 KOS, knocking down fellow veteran Joseph Odorno twice. The first knocked down came in round seven and the second was more of a slip with less than half a minute to go in the fight.
However, it was officially ruled a knocked down and led to Rodriguez winning by scores of 97-91 and 95 – 93, while the third card had the flight 94-94 even.