Subriel Matias wants Haney vs. Prograis winner, wants to send Regis to hospital

By Chris Williams - 12/06/2023 - Comments

Subriel Matias wants to face the winner of Saturday’s fight between WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis & Devin Haney in a unification fight.

The IBF 140-lb champion Matias (20-1, 20 KOs) says it would be “an honor” to challenge Haney for the WBC title if he’s victorious against Prograis.

Subriel wants the opportunity to prove himself because people haven’t heard of him, and he’d like to face Haney or Prograis if possible. Haney has already made clear what his plans are if he wins on Saturday.

He wants to move up to 147 and fight inactive welterweight Keith Thurman. Yeah, it’s a weak choice by Haney, but he won’t fight IBF champion Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis and get destroyed.

The older fans remember who Thurman is, and they’ll be pleased to see Haney fight the old guy, who rarely fights anymore.

Last month, Matias stopped previously unbeaten Shohjahon Ergashev (23-1, 20 KOs) in the fifth round in a show-stealing performance on the undercard of David Benavidez vs. Demetrius Andrade on November 25th at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.

Matias views the 34-year-old Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) as slow but strong, and he warns that he’ll send him to the hospital if they tangle. Prograis expressed interest this week in facing Matias, but it’s unclear if he was serious.

Matias’s aggressive approach to fighting would force Prograis to battle him in the trenches, considering he’s not a mobile fighter and would have to make the best of it. It would be an exciting fight for boxing fans to see which of these two sluggers emerge victorious if they were to meet in early 2024.

Prograis would prefer to face Ryan Garcia, Teofimo Lopez, or Gervonta Davis if he has his hand raised on Saturday night rather than take on the Puerto Cian fighter Matias, considering he’s only known to the hardcore fans of the sport.

Matias targeting Haney vs. Prograis winner

“Prograis is passive and slow. He’s strong, yes. You can’t take away from him. I want to send Regis to the hospital,” said Subriel Matias to ThaBoxingVoice about Regis Prograis. “For me, that would be an honor, of course, especially if it’s a unification,” Matias said when asked if he’d like to fight Devin Haney if he’s victorious against Prograis on Saturday night.

Prograis used to be a fearless, aggressive fighter, but he changed after his loss to Josh Taylor in 2019. That defeat took away Prograis’ confidence, leaving the scared-looking fighter who barely edged non-contender Danielito Zorrilla last June.

“I would love to have that fight, particularly because people don’t look at me as being one of the best in the division. Since people don’t look at me as one of the best in the division, all I need is the opportunity,” said Matias.

The main reason fans don’t include Matias in the decision when talking about the best at 140 is that he hasn’t fought notable opposition, and most of his fights haven’t been televised. If Matias had been fighting guys like Jose Ramirez, Josh Taylor, Teofimo Lopez, and Ryan Garcia, he’d be well known by now.

“Where does he stack up in this 140-lb weight class, which is wide open and is loaded,” said Bernardo Osuna to ‘The State of Boxing,’ talking about IBF light welterweight champion Subriel Matias.

Bradley raves about Subriel Matias

“He’s a beast. I’ve been telling everybody about this guy. They say, ‘Oh, he gets hit too much.’ I say, ‘What happens and he don’t go anywhere?'” said Tim Bradley about Matias.

Matias’ win over Ergashev got the attention of fans because it was hard not to like. The southpaw Ergashev started off well, dishing out a lot of punishment on Matias in the first two rounds, and it looked like it was going to be an early night for the Uzbek fighter.

However, Matias turned the tables in the third, landing many hard shots on the inside that had Ergashev looking hurt.

From there, it was a one-sided beat down, with Matias pounding Ergashev in the fourth and fifth rounds until the fight was halted.

“He has a motor like no other. He minds me somewhat of a [David] Benavidez. He comes forward, takes your best shot, mows you down, and has thumpers in both hands,” Bradley said about Matias.

“He puts his punches together extremely well. His toughness, his grit, his determination. He believes in himself,” Bradley said about Subriel. “He has a system with how he breaks down these guys.

“[Shohjahon] Ergashev, a tremendous boxer, an Olympian with Olympic pedigree. He’s a guy that knows how to fight and knows how to keep his distance. He knows how to strike with that backhand.”

Ergashev landed a lot of left hands on Matias in the first three rounds, and it was surprising that he could take those shots because he got hit a lot. But when it was Matias’ turn to land bombs, Ergashev couldn’t handle his power, and he quickly wilted under the shots.

“He couldn’t do any of that because the pressure that Matias put on him was bothersome,” said Bradley. “It basically suffocated him [Ergashev], and he found a way out pretty much. He blamed it on his leg. In all honesty, he quit because he knew if he didn’t quit right then he was going to get knocked out,” said Bradley.

“Another fighter that Matias reminds me of is Antonio Margarito,” said Mike Coppinger. “It’s nonstop pressure; he doesn’t care about getting hit. He doesn’t care about what’s coming back at him, and this guy deserves a lot of recognition and a lot of respect.

“Yes, he doesn’t speak English, and maybe that’s why people aren’t talking about him more, but this guy is a beast,” said Coppinger about Matias. “He doesn’t stop coming forward, and his punches are heavy.”

It would help a lot for Matias to learn English as fast as possible, and to get with a well-known promoter that can set up fights for him. There’s talk of Matias signing with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing company.

Matias being promoted by Hearn could help open doors for big fights, but not necessarily so. Demetrius Andrade languished with Hearn, fighting weak British fighters, and Canelo Alvarez didn’t do much either while working with Hearn.

“I don’t think he’s a one-punch knockout guy, but just like Sergey Kovalev who came before him, those punches add up, and I don’t know who can beat him right now,” said Coppinger.

“There may be guys out there that are more skilled than Matias, faster, more athletic, but I think his combination of belief, his will, his toughness, and yes, his strength are going to carry him really far in this sport. I think it’s time that Subriel Matias gets a truly big fight at 140 lbs,” said Coppinger.

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