Promoter Eddie Hearn is interested in matching his fighter, IBF light welterweight champion Subriel Matias, against WBO belt-holder Teofimo Lopez if things go well on Saturday night in his title defense against Liam Paro at the Coliseo Juan Aubin Cruz Abreu in Manati, Puerto Rico. Matias-Paro will be shown live on DAZN.

Hearn hopes Matias (20-1, 20 KOs) will look impressive against Paro (24-0, 15 KOs), creating fan demand to see Subriel fight Teofimo.

The Saudi Factor

It may require the Saudis to get involved for that fight to materialize because Teofimo has not shown a huge amount of interest in taking risky fights since his loss to George Kambosos Jr., and his promoters at Top Rank seem content to match him against guys they know he can beat to avoid another mishap.

Hearn says Teofimo and WBC light welterweight champion Devin Haney won’t come to Puerto Rico for a fight against Matias, which is a true statement. Haney hasn’t mentioned wanting to fight Matias at all.

Haney wants a rematch with Ryan Garcia or fights against Gervonta ‘Tank Davis’ or Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz. He’s not going to take a risky fight, Matias, especially since he just lost to Ryan and is having problems making the 140-lb limit.

Hearn doesn’t mention any realistic options for Matias’ next fight, but former WBC 140-lb champion Regis Prograis and Richardson Hitchins are good options.

Matias Needs to Impress

“What Matias needs is a performance on Saturday night where the fans go, ‘Wow, we want Teo against Subriel Matias.’ In my opinion, Teofimo Lopez vs. Subriel Matias is one of the best fights in boxing,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to MillCity Boxing about wanting to make a unification clash between IBF 140-lb champion Matias and WBO champ Teofimo if things go well for Subriel on Saturday night against Liam Paro.

It’s not a sure thing that Matias is going to win this fight on Saturday night because he could lose if Paro can land his power shots on him the way that Petros Ananyan and Shohjahon Ergashev were.

“You got to want to unify the division, but I also understand that it’s a business, and if the risk doesn’t weigh out with the reward, people aren’t going to want to fight Subriel Matias,” said Hearn. “So, we have to make sure that when you do fight Subriel Matias, it’s a big fight, a unification, and big money for it.”

Hearn will need the Saudis’ involvement for it to be a “big money” match between Matias and Teofimo because, without them, it’s not a clash that will be in a lot of PPV buys. Of course, Teofimo isn’t a PPV attraction, and neither is Matias.

“That can happen here, most likely in America, and maybe in Saudi Arabia,” said Hearn. “I think that’s one of the best fights [Teofimo vs. Matias] in the division. When you think about it, realistically, Teofmo Lopez and Devin Haney aren’t going to come to Puerto Rico and fight Subriel Matias.

“That’s why you have to take your hat off to Liam Paro; he’s one of the few that did it. It’s bad enough fighting Subriel Matias in America. It’s bad enough fighting Subriel Matias in your own backyard, let alone in his back garden,” said Hearn.

I don’t think Teofimo would agree to fight Matias, even in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York. Teo does seem risk-averse nowadays and is just happy to defend his WBO title against the likes of Steve Claggett and Jamaine Ortiz.

Building Global Recognition for Matias

“Liam is a very accomplished fighter, and he’s a crafty fighter, and he’s a very clever fighter,” said Hearn. “So, it’s going to be a great fight. We don’t need to build Subriel Matias in Puerto Rico. He’s already built. Look what’s happening on Saturday.

“We’re in Manati. We’re not in San Juan, and you’re going to have 10,000. The atmosphere is going to be incredible. We just need to build him globally. We need to get people excited about him. We need people to want to see him in a big fight, and I think, certainly, fight fans definitely want to see him in big fights now.”

It’s going to be interesting to watch Matias fighting in front of a large crowd because his recent fights haven’t been in front of a lot of people.

“We need to go on if he looks good on Saturday night; he’s going to put pressure on us, and we have to deliver,” said Hearn about Matias.

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