IBF light welterweight champion Subriel Matias is arguably the most avoided fighter in the 140-lb division due to the danger he brings to the ring.

Matias (20-1, 20 KOs) has been unable to get any of the top fighters in the division to fight him during his nine-year professional career, and that hasn’t changed since he signed with Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn.

A Title Defense Against Liam Paro

This month, Matias is defending his IBF title against Liam Paro (24-0, 15 KOs) on June 15th, live on DAZN at the Coliseo Juan Aubin Cruz Abreu in Manati, Puerto Rico.

It might be better for Matias if he looks poor and struggles to beat Paro because that could open the door for the top fighters in the weight class to finally agree to face him.

We certainly know that Matias’ impressive efforts haven’t helped him get any significant fights, and that’s not going to change if he keeps looking good.

The Promotion Problem

“He’s a real boogieman of the division. Nobody wants to step foot in the ring with this guy at all. It’s a shame. You got all these big names there, and nobody ever calls this guy’s name,” said Tim Bradley to Probox TV, talking about IBF light welterweight champion Subriel Matias being avoided by the other top fighters at 140.

“You want to know why? Because they know he’s extremely dangerous. You can say they do fear him, but if the money was right, I think these guys would take the fight.”

Matias’ new promoter Eddie Hearn may not be able to come up with enough money to lure the likes of Devin Haney, Teofimo Lopez, Isaac Cruz or Ryan Garcia to fight him. It might take the Saudis, but they’ve shown a lot of interest in the 140-lb division.

“I think he’s promotable enough where the money should be right, but because he hasn’t been promoted, there’s not enough push behind him now,” said boxing expert Paulie Malingaggi about Matias. “There’s no excuse for this guy not to be as popular as he should be.

“He’s Puerto Rican, and he’s a big puncher. We’ve seen that mold before generate a lot of money a lot of popularity.”

Matias should be more popular than he is, but it goes back to the opposition. If he can’t get the big names to fight him, he’s going to be in a situation where his fights aren’t attracting fan interest.

“He may be better off looking bad against [Liam] Paro actually because he might be able to get those fights,” said Chris Algieri about Matias.

“I don’t think so, but we’ll see,” said Bradley.

The problem with Matias looking bad is that it could work in reverse, where the top guys use that as an excuse for not fighting him.

“A lot of good fights are made after bad performances,” said Algieri.

“Yeah, you’re right,” said Bradley. “I think Paro is the right guy for him. Again, he has to be able to maintain distance. He languishes against the ropes too often for me. I see him having success early, maybe with his backend,” said Bradley about Paro.

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