IBF Junior Welterweight champion Subriel Matías delivered a relentless and thrilling performance against the previously unbeaten Shohjahon Ergashev. Ergashev, overwhelmed by Matías’ onslaught, retired in the sixth round, marking Matías’ 20th stoppage in 21 fights. Matías, now 20-1 with 20 KOs, successfully defended his title for the first time, while Ergashev’s record shifted to 23-1 with 20 KOs.
Matías, confident in his ability, stated, “Once I felt Ergashev’s punches, I knew I had this. It takes me a few rounds to figure out southpaws, and then, well, you saw what happened. Teofimo Lopez, Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney – if you’re up for it, let’s fight.”
Ergashev, acknowledging his limitations, said, “I felt pain and couldn’t fight as planned. After getting hurt, my offense and defense suffered, and I couldn’t execute our strategy.”
Matías mirrored his previous performance against Jeremias Ponce, absorbing early hits before taking control. Ergashev started strong, but Matías shifted the momentum in the third round with precise uppercuts and body shots. By the fourth round, Matías had Ergashev pinned and overwhelmed, showcasing his dominance. Over five rounds, Matías landed 71 power punches and 37 jabs, connecting on 108 of 317 total punches (34%), overshadowing Ergashev’s 44 of 235 punches (19%).
Jermall Charlo, after a 29-month hiatus, returned to the ring with an energized, efficient, and ultimately commanding display against the sturdy and determined José Benavídez Jr., David Benavídez’s older sibling, in their 10-round non-title bout at 163 pounds. The WBC middleweight titleholder Charlo, noticeably the larger fighter, steered Benavídez around the ring with his lengthy jab and forceful right hands.
This strategy led to a sweeping victory for Charlo, with scores of 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92, maintaining his unbeaten record at 33-0 with 22 KOs, while Benavídez’s record adjusted to 28-3-1 with 19 KOs. Charlo, weighing 166.4 pounds at the weigh-in against Benavídez’s 161.2, saw the fight proceed after mutual agreement from both camps. Charlo impressively landed 116 out of 334 jabs (35% connect-rate) and 127 of 279 power punches (46% connect-rate).
Charlo expressed his resilience post-fight, saying, “I’ll be back stronger, just know that. Every round, I reflected on my journey. I’m grateful for God’s guidance and everyone who stood by me. A shoutout to Al Haymon for understanding me. It’s not easy being a man and explaining your beliefs, but my experiences taught me that anything is achievable.”
Benavídez, who faced a defeat from Terence Crawford in 2018 for a welterweight title and hailed as an amateur standout, showcased his resilience against the bigger Charlo. Despite a shaky first round, Charlo soon took charge, flaunting his captivating skills. Benavídez acknowledged, “He’s a talented fighter. I came here to compete, not to back down. The better man won tonight. It’s all part of boxing. I felt the fight was closer than the judges scored. But I accept my defeat without excuses. I don’t know if his extra weight played a role, but I was ready and gave it my all.”
Charlo’s return was marked by a slow start due to his long absence, but he quickly picked up pace. A potent straight right at the end of the first round, followed by a sharp right uppercut in the second, showcased his skill. Benavídez briefly challenged Charlo in the third, but Charlo’s counter with an overhand right and subsequent aggressive approach in the fourth turned the tides. A right uppercut in the sixth and a powerful right in the tenth highlighted Charlo’s dominance, culminating in a mutual show of respect post-fight.
Lamont Roach finally got his hands on the WBA Super Featherweight Title, outclassing Héctor García in a fight that really showcased some serious strategy and skill. This was Roach’s second shot at a belt. The fight judges had it at 116-111, 114-113, and 113-114, all in favor of Roach. The big game-changer? That epic left hook in the 12th round that sent García packing for the second time in his career. Roach dodged a split-draw and grabbed the win with that punch.
Roach was stoked, saying something like, “I’ve been waiting to be called the new champ for ages. My first go at it, I was just a kid at 24. Now, I’m all seasoned and ready to take on the world. Bring it on, anyone!”
He was all about that knockout hook, too. “That’s the shot we’ve been perfecting,” he said. “I’m ready to take on the best at 130. Let’s make it happen.”
The fight was more like a chess match for the most part. But then, in the 11th round, Roach lit up, hammering García with a mean right hand, pushing him to the ropes, and then bam! A right uppercut that had García reeling. Stats-wise, Roach was on point, landing 118 of 490 punches.
Earlier in the night, streamed on SHOWTIME SPORTS YouTube and Facebook, Michel Rivera (25-1, 14 KOs) pulled off a big win. He beat former world champ Sergey Lipinets (17-3-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-rounder super lightweight match. The scores were 97-93, 97-93, and 96-94. Rivera, fighting at 140 for the first time, just outclassed Lipinets with his quick moves and sharp punches.
And let’s not forget about Vito Mielnicki Jr. The 21-year-old, with Ronnie Shields in his corner, was sharp as a tack. He sent Alexis Salazar to the mat three times in the first round, ending the fight at 2:27. Mielnicki is now at 16-1 with 11 KOs. Salazar, who was expected to be a tough challenge, couldn’t handle Mielnicki’s punches and dropped to 25-6 with 10 KOs.