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Matias Stops Ponce in a Minneapolis Barnburner That Ends on a Downbeat Note

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  • Matias Stops Ponce in a Minneapolis Barnburner That Ends on a Downbeat Note

    After absorbing a stunning attack, Puerto Rico’s Subriel Matias turned things around immediately and pummeled Argentina’s Jeremias Ponce until the fight was stopped to become the new IBF super lightweight world titlist on Saturday.

    It was a complete reversal of fortune.

    Matias (19-1, 19 KOs) walked into the Armory expecting a strong opponent and discovered Ponce (30-1, 20 KOs) had no hesitation to start a war in Minneapolis. The crowd was delighted by the main event of TGB Promotions.

    The taller Argentine fighter opened up with punches flying after several stiff jabs and forced Matias into reverse mode. It was a strange scenario for the Boricua who absorbed blow after blow to the surprise of everyone in the building that holds more than 5,000 fans.

    Matias survived the blistering start of Ponce and as he walked back to his corner his trainer seemed concerned. But the Puerto Rican slugger seemed to grit his teeth and walk out in the second round ready to stop the Argentina’s momentum in quick fashion.

    From the second round on Matias dug in and refused to retreat an inch as both fighters exchanged blows with little regard for defense. Toe-to-toe and never more than an inch or two apart the super lightweights winged tremendous blows against each other like hammers hitting the same anvil.

    It seemed the two were on equal footing and no one better than the other.

    Finally, in the fifth, a crack in the armor emerged as Matias unleashed a combination with one blow seeming to hit Ponce on the top of the head and down went the Argentine fighter. The referee counted to eight and after a quick observation allowed the fight to continue. Ponce fired back as Matias attacked and the round ended furiously.

    “I saw he was hurt and went after him like a lion,” said Matias.

    Ponce returned to his corner and his trainer looked at him and told referee Mark Nelson that he was ending the fight. The referee replied “No mas?” and the trainer responded “no mas” ending the fight by technical knockout at the end of the fifth round.

    “That was a surprise he did not come out,” Matias said.

    Matias becomes the new IBF super lightweight world titlist.

    “I worked 10 months for this moment,” said Matias. “Really, I wanted to knock him out.”

    Other Bouts

    Jamal James (28-2, 12 KOs) finally entered the boxing ring after surviving three bouts with the coronavirus and out-fought Argentina’s Alberto Palmetta (18-2, 13 KOs) to win by unanimous decision after 10 rounds in a welterweight contest.

    James used his height and experience to out-fight the shorter but rugged Palmetta by decision 99-91, 98-92 twice on the judge’s cards.

    “I had a lot of rust on me,” said James.

    In a super lightweight battle between contenders, Dominican Republic’s Elvis Rodriguez (14-1-1, 12 KOs) discovered the right hook out of a southpaw stance was the key to victory over Joseph Adorno (17-2-2, 14 KOs). After a very tenuous start by both fighters, Rodriguez dropped Adorno with a right hook during an exchange in the seventh round and took over the fight after that.

    Rodriguez easily survived Adorno’s biggest blows and after 10 rounds won by majority decision 94-94, 95-93 and 97-91.

    Photo credit: Esther Lin / SHOWTIME