Puerto Rico Boxing Fans Hopeful About Subriel Matias & Nestor Bravo



Puerto Rico Boxing Fans Hopeful About Subriel Matias & Nestor Bravo

Subriel Matias is the boogeyman of the 140 lbs division, some might even say he is the best modern Puerto Rican fighter, and after Saturday night, might be one of three Puerto Rican world champions along with Amanda Serrano, and Jonathan “La Bomba” Gonzalez. Yes, Puerto Rico boxing fans have to be perking up, what with Matias ascending, and also, what about the 21-0 Nestor Bravo? More on him later…

Yet, the boogeyman label holds a deeper meaning when contextualized with Matias. Matias carries a heavy burden, and possibly a heavy heart in the sport of boxing. His emergence was as a B side fighter taking on Top Rank’s Maxim Dadashev in a fight Matias would dominate and win. Dadashev’s coach Buddy McGirt stopped the fight in the corner in the twelfth and final round. It was death-and-devastation afterward, as Dadashev would pass away from injuries inflicted in this bout. The way Matias fought would lead him to be even more feared (and leave him emotionally scarred, as well.)

Boogeyman Subriel Matias (Pic by Esther Lin)

Subriel Matias fights like the living incarnation of a zombie film. Matias is the real-life version of “Night of the Living Dead.” A fighter who might not have a ton of tricks, but believes that the pressure he brings along with his conditioning and the punishment he dishes out will be far too much for any fighter. This is a brutal style, one that becomes scary as he doesn’t hit hard enough to stop someone, but hard enough to keep the beating going for round after round of often one-sided damage. So much so that his reputation is now following him. 

Matias looked to be a scary force in the 140 lbs division, yet he would lose his very next fight after the Dadashev against Petros Ananyan in a fight that he would get dropped in as well. Still, Ananyan, despite getting a massive win, took over a year-and-a-half off from his ring return after the brutal fight with Matias. 

Here is a sad flashback to 2019

Subriel Matias would stop his next two opponents, both of whom were prospects.

Matias would defeat Malik Hawkins, a fighter with a lot of promise under the Mayweather Promotions banner.

He'd then defeat Batyrzhan Jukembayev in the same fashion with their trainers saying they’d seen enough (see below):

Subriel Matias Is A Scary Fighter

Matias is scary. No fighter willingly brings his name up and his last fight was a stoppage win over Petros Ananyan, the only man to beat him. Add to it that Matias has won all of his eighteen fights by way of knockout, and you’re looking something nightmares of made of.

Matias now will headline a Showtime card tonight (February 25) against mandated opponent, Jeremias Ponce, who holds a win over Lewis Ritson. The two will battle for the vacant IBF super lightweight world title in what many suspect will be a crowning achievement for Matias. 

Here are the bouts running on Showtime Feb. 25

“Ponce is tough and he possesses a unique style,” said Matías about Ponce via press release. “I would compare him to Marcos Maidana, who’s shocked the boxing world plenty of times. I don’t see a lot of people similar to him in boxing nowadays. Ponce is a great fighter, and I respect both him and Argentina. But my goal is to not let this fight go the distance.”

Subriel Matias has also taken himself to Mexico for the past ten months, removing himself from his family just to train. 

Friday, after making weight at 139.25 lbs, a quarter pound less than his opponent, Matias had the following words to say:

“I’m 30 years old and to this day, I don’t know what the canvas feels like. I’m going to be the one knocking him out. I told my mom ever since I was 12 or 13 years old that I was going to make her proud and become a world champion. This is my chance. It would be very exciting for me to win this fight by knockout, and I think that’s the way it’s going. The “Orgullo de Maternillo” is going to win by knockout before the seventh round.”

JEREMIAS PONCE the day before his fight with Subriel Matias

Ponce telling Brian Custer he ain't afraid of the boogeyman Subriel Matias

Matias…Fighters don’t gossip about him, no one calls him out, and even if you beat him in a fight, you will take damage – it is inevitable. Matias is grueling, tiresome and fierce. The sport of boxing is cruel, and Matias might even be crueler. Though Ponce is no slouch, many such as myself have Matias rated as a top-5 super lightweight.

The question is this. Matias has never truly been the a-side in his career, the cards have never been in his favor. Matias has strived off adversity, as though that is what he was created from. How will Matias look when the world expects him to be what he has been prior?

Nestor Bravo Wants To Put Himself On Radar Screens

Now to Nestor Bravo.

People don’t like writing about prospects, because you can like a prospect and they can lose. In short, it is a gamble, who will do well, and who won’t – and boxing is a game in which no one likes to be wrong. 

Meet Nestor Bravo, a 5’9”, 140 lbs fighter who has seen 75 % of his fights end by way of knockout. Now Bravo is meeting the next crossroads of his career, and will fight for an NABO world title in this same division as Subriel Matias. Bravo will look to make a statement on CBS Sports Network tonight.

Nestor Bravo fights in Orlando, Florida on Feb. 25, 2023

His opponent, Jair Valtierra, has fought Raymond Muratalla, a highly thought of fighter from Riverside, California, who trains with Robert Garcia. Essentially this bout will serve as a direct comparison between where Bravo is compared to Muratalla. 

Bravo, who turned pro in 2015, has gone only 75 rounds, a tad lower than one might expect a undefeated 21-fight veteran to have. Up until 2019, Bravo was moved carefully, and strategically, which there is nothing wrong with. Now fighting on Boxlab Promotions' card at Caribe Royale Orlando, in Orlando, Florida, Bravo is in his third ten-round bout of his career. (Click here to get more on Nestor Bravo, from a Hector Franco story.”

Bravo is the type of fighter who is in need of the step-up fight soon as he is 29-years-old, and one would like to know where he fits into the sport before he turns 30-years-old. This appears to be a fight that should directly compare an interesting young prospect to others of his era. 

The big question with fighters like Bravo are things we don’t see until the big stage, work ethic, character, and determination. A fighter like Bravo will never have the pedigree of a Shakur Stevenson, but that doesn’t mean he can’t train with the same intensity and these fights like this one on Sunday, will show us a bit more about the character of Nestor Bravo. We know about Subriel Matias…A showy win could place Nestor Bravo on a higher pedestal to those rabid and loyal boxing fans from Puerto Rico.