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Subriel Matias-Jeremias Ponce Back On For February

Subriel Matias-Jeremias Ponce Back On For February

Boxing News

Subriel Matias-Jeremias Ponce Back On For February

Amanda Westcott- Showtime

Subriel Matias-Jeremias Ponce Back On For February

Subriel Matias and Jeremias Ponce will fight for the vacant IBF junior welterweight title in the main event of a Showtime-televised PBC card on Feb. 25 at The Armory in Minneapolis, they announced on Tuesday.

The bout will top a tripleheader (9 p.m. ET) that will also include former secondary welterweight titlist Jamal James fighting in front of a hometown crowd in 10-rounder against Alberto Palmetta in the co-feature and junior welterweights Elvis Rodriguez and Joseph Adorno meeting in the 10-round opener.

Matias and Ponce will fill the last of the three 140-pound title vacancies left when undisputed champion Josh Taylor elected to keep the WBO title but let the other belts go to pursue a rematch with Jack Catterall rather than mandatory opponents, including Matias, the IBF No. 1 contender.

The fight was originally tentatively scheduled for last October 15th, but a month before Matias put on social media that he would not be able to fight then, due to visa problems coming to the U.S.

Matias-Ponce has been expected to be on this card since TGB Promotions was the only bidder when it won a purse bid for the bout for $510,000 in November. Each fighter is entitled to 50 percent ($255,000).

The big-hitting Matias (18-1, 18 KOs), 30, of Puerto Rico, has won four fights in a row since an upset 10-round decision loss to Petros Ananyan in February 2020. Matias stopped Ananyan in the ninth round of a rematch in his last fight last January.

“I’m very grateful that there is now a date for this fight so that I can finally realize my dream and become world champion,” Matias said. “I’ve been away from my family for 10 months in Mexico, just preparing and getting ready until the time came to step into the ring. Now that it’s in my sight, there’s nothing that is going to stand in my way.”

Ponce will make his U.S. debut

Ponce (30-0, 20 KOs), 26, of Argentina, will be fighting in the Untied States for the first time, although he has boxed in several countries. He scored his biggest win when he knocked out Lewis Ritson in his hometown of Newcastle, England in June 2021.

“I promise that I’m coming into this fight prepared to do whatever it takes to reach my dream and become a world champion,” Ponce said. “In my mind, this is my fight, and that title is already mine. Anyone who’s standing in my way is going to see why I’m undefeated and why I’ve earned this position that I’m in.”

James (27-2, 12 KOs), 34, has been idle since losing the WBA “regular” welterweight title by ninth-round knockout to Radzhab Butaev on Showtime in October 2021 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

“I’m very excited to be getting back in the ring after such a long layoff, especially since it’ll be in my hometown,” James said. “I think Palmetta will do his best, but it won’t be enough. I am determined to win and to let it be known that my name should be listed as one of the top five welterweights of this era.”

The southpaw Palmetta (18-1, 13 KOs), 32, a 2016 Olympian from Argentina, has won 12 fights in a row, including 11 by knockout since a fifth-round knockout loss to Gonzalo Coria in November 2017.

“This is a great opportunity for me and I’m training hard in Las Vegas to take full advantage of everything that’s in front of me,” Palmetta said. “I know I’m going into James’ hometown, but that’s just going to motivate me even harder to have my hand raised.”

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Since 2000, award-winning reporter Dan Rafael has covered boxing full time and been ringside for thousands of fights, first for five years at USA Today and then for 15 years at ESPN, where he wrote and appeared on various television, radio and streaming programs. In 2013, Dan was honored by the Boxing Writers Association of America with the Nat Fleischer award for career excellence in boxing journalism. Dan brings his great insight to the Big Fight Weekend site, podcast and more!

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