The super lightweight division is jam-packed with incredibly talented fighters. Regis Prograis is a recognized and respected champion, Teofimo Lopez has proven that he can both box and brawl with the best of them and Devin Haney, the division’s newest face, has pound-for-pound-worthy skills.
Subriel Matias, however, seems to possess something different.
The 31-year-old Puerto Rican punishes his opponents, often beating them so badly that a mandatory visit to the nearest emergency room is needed. Recently, that trend continued.
In front of a jam-packed crowd at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Matias (20-1, 20 KOs) took on fellow puncher, Shohjahon Ergashev. There were no feel-out rounds from either man, they simply met in the center of the ring and began letting their fists fly. Ergashev ostensibly had the edge in the early going, but Matias likes to play the long game. After seeing what his man had to offer in the first two rounds, the IBF champ began doing what he does best, unleash a beating.
Richardson Hitchins inched closer to his television screen as Matias continued his onslaught. The Brooklyn native wasn’t surprised by what was taking place but the violent manner in which Matias went about his business was jaw-dropping.
At the age of 26, Hitchins is hoping to one day grab his own world title and begin his reign of dominance. Lately, he’s prioritized matchups against Lopez and Haney. Matias, on the other hand, hasn’t been on his radar.
Hitchins’ reluctance to mention Matias as a possible future opponent doesn’t stem from some overarching fear to take on a hard puncher.
The IBF recently ordered Hitchins to face Jack Catterall in a final eliminator.
Unlike the rest of the sanctioning bodies, the IBF forces both its champion and challengers to not only make weight a day prior, but also stay within a 10-pound rehydration the next morning.
That factor makes Hitchins (17-0, 7 KOs) hesitant. Facing someone whose sole mission is to put his opponents on a stretcher, comes with obvious dangers. Still, after schooling Jose Zepeda just a few short months ago, Hitchins is confident that he can handle whatever Matias is dishing out in the ring.
“If I fight a guy like Matias, I would want to be at 100%," Hitchins told BoxingScene.com. "I wouldn’t want to fight him in the IBF [with their rehydration demand]. I’m not a small 140, I’m a big 140. I would want to come in there and be at my best. That’s a big challenge, I’m not gonna act like it’s not a huge challenge so I would want to be at my best but I would fight him.”