IBF light welterweight champion Subriel Matias should be a bigger name than he is today as he heads into a title defense against Liam Paro this month on June 15th on DAZN at the Coliseo Juan Aubín Cruz Abreu in Manatí, Puerto Rico.

A Star in the Making?

Paulie Malignaggi believes Matias (20-1, 20 KOs) has been mismanaged and mis-promoted during his nine-year professional career, which has kept him from becoming known like other light welterweights, like Devin Haney, Teofimo Lopez and Isaac Cruz.

Since Matias is not well known, the top fighters aren’t interested in fighting him, and he’s dangerous, which is another reason why he’s shunned.

With Matias’ power and pressure fighting style, he’s not high on the list of the top 140-pound stars to want to fight him. His last fight against Shohjahon Ergashev was a perfect example of why the top names don’t want to fight him.

Matias was fighting a pure knockout artist with loads of talent in Ergashev, and he wore down the unbeaten fighter and stopped him in six rounds. That fight sent a message to the top light welterweights that Matias is dangerous.

The Danger Factor

“Matias is that guy. He’s sort of the enigma of the 140-lb division. The fact that he’s Puerto Rican and he punches like this should make him a bigger star than this,” said Paulie Malignaggi to Probox TV, talking about IBF light welterweight champion Subriel Matias.

“I think he’s been a bit mis-promoted. Usually, when Puerto Rican fighters come around that are like this guy and have the qualities that this guy has, typically, they are very, very popular. So, I think he’s been a little bit mismanaged and mis-promoted.”

Shockingly, Matias has been in the division for nine years, and yet, he’s less well-known than the newcomers Haney, Pitbull Cruz, Teofimo, and Ryan Garcia.

“As dangerous as he is, he may be the top guy at 140 lbs, possibly. So that is the question. Is he, or isn’t he? We want to see more of him against the big names.

“These days, they’re not too quick to get in against each other, but Matias certainly is drawn attention, but from the hardcore fans, he’s good enough and is the right nationality to draw attention from all of boxing and even the casuals,” said Malignaggi.

The champions at 140 are selective in who they fight, choosing softer targets and oones that they believe they have a good chance of winning. The WBO champion has yet to fight anyone good, and it’s such a waste.

A Talent-Rich Division

“I think it’s because it’s such a talent-rich division. You’ve got guys that are big names and have been there,” said boxing expert Chris Algieri on why fans don’t better know Matias. “You’ve got Devin Haney and Teofimo Lopez. You’ve got Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz, who just stepped up to 140 and picked up a world title, beating Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero. Rolly is a big name as well.”

None of those fighters have expressed interest in fighting Matias, which is why he’s defending against Liam Paro. He’s not able to get the big names to fight him, so he’s got to be content with facing the best guys he can.

Matias’ last opponent, Egashev, would have an excellent chance of beating any of the three other belt holders, but they’re not going to fight him, obviously. He’s too dangerous just like Matias.

“So there’s a lot of names, but I think Subriel Matias will fit in nicely with any one of those guys,” said Algieri. “He just has to get a shot, but that’s one of the things that has been tough to get because, one, he’s dangerous, and two, he’s not well known.

“So, you’re taking a big risk, But he has a title and titles have power. They have negotiating power and they have reasons for guys to want to fight you now,” said Algieri.

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