Jeremias Ponce (30-1, 20 KOs) says he felt he could have continued on Saturday night in his fifth round stoppage loss to Subriel Matias (19-1, 19 KOs) in their battle for the vacant IBF light welterweight title at The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Unfortunately for the 26-year-old Argentinian Ponce, his trainer chose to stop the fight after the fifth round due to him having been knocked down and hurt during the round by Matias.
Ponce says he’d recovered from the knockdown, and he felt ready to continue fighting, but his trainer knows him well and chose not to let him come out for the sixth.
In the first round, Ponce gave Matias all he could handle, throwing 96 punches and working over the 31-year-old Puerto Rican native. Had Ponce been able to keep fighting at that pace, Matias would likely have caved in at some point because he was getting hit too much.
Matias took control of the fight by the third round, landing massive punches on the inside, and not giving Ponce a chance to catch a breather.
Ponce was fighting Matias’ fight by electing to trade bombs with him, which in hindsight, was a big mistake because he didn’t have the chin or the same cardio as the Puerto Rican warrior to fight that kind of match.
“First thing, I’m in great health, and my corner knows me better than me. It’s better to take a precaution a minute earlier than a minute less, but I wanted to continue,” said Jeremias Ponce to Showtime Boxing after his stoppage loss to Subriel Matias on Saturday night.
“I felt it was definitely even, but in this kind of fight, one punch ends it, and that’s what happened, it turned it around,” Ponce continued.
"It's better to take caution a minute earlier than a minute later."
Jeremias Ponce wanted to continue but he knows his health is most important 🙌#MatiasPonceo pic.twitter.com/M8QSgpb0Nt
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) February 26, 2023
“First of all, I want to tell my family that everything is fine. To my son, to my wife that everything is good, and in the first round, I came out to try and get him, but he’s a tough fighter. I knew this fight was going to be a very tough fight.
“Definitely, you know that Matias is a tough fighter, a strong fighter. He did hit me with that shot, and I went down. I lost my stability a little bit. I did recoup, but then it was just too late,” said Ponce about his knockdown in the fifth.
“Hopefully, hopefully, I want to be a champion, and I’ve been a champion before, but I want to be a legitimate champion. I definitely want the rematch, please. Thanks to everybody that came out here to see me,” said Ponce.
It’s unlikely that Ponce will be getting a rematch anytime soon against Matias because the new champion wants to fight a unification match against WBC light welterweight champ Regis Prograis or face the winner of the battle between WBO champ Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez.
The good news for Ponce is he impressed a lot of boxing fans in the U.S. tonight, and Showtime likely were pleased with what they saw from him tonight.
Ponce will be in demand after this performance, and if he can get back on thee winning track, he’ll get another title shot soon enough. He’s only 26 years old, so there’s still time for him to work his way back to another title shot.