In an impressive display of raw punching power, the Gatti-eque Subriel Matias (19-1, 19 KOs) of Puerto Rico, blasted out Argentinian Jeremias Ponce (30-1, 20 KOs) in the fifth round, dropping him hard with a beautiful left to the body to win the vacant IBF 140-lb title on Saturday night in the main event in front of a gleeful crowd at The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In easily the fight of the night, the 31-year-old Matias unloaded with a blizzard of punches at close range in the final 20 seconds of round 5, twice catching Ponce on top of his head while he was diving in like a missile.
One of the shots Matias caught Ponce with was a perfectly thrown uppercut, which further did the damage, but wasn’t necessarily the one that hurt him. Ponce was getting hit with basically everything Matias threw in the final sequence in the round. Interestingly, the shot that dropped Ponce was a left to the body.
In fairness to Ponce, it looked more like he lost his balance, causing him to go down rather than body shot, doing the damage.
Nevertheless, Ponce was hurt when he got up, but from the headshots, not the body shot, that he’d absorbed in that flurry from Matias. Somehow, Ponce made it out of the round, but his trainer pulled him out while he was on the stool in between rounds.
In looking at Ponce’s condition, it was a wise decision by his trainer because he looked hurt and tired. If he had last Ponce come out for the sixth, Matias would have finished him off quickly, and that would have been bad for him.
In the first round, Ponce was immediately on Matias, nailing him with hurtful body shots and tagging him at will with shots. Matias’ lack of defensive skills was evident in that round because he was getting hit with everything from Ponce.
Matias came late in the second round, tagging Ponce with big shots to steal the round. Ponce had gotten the better of Matias through most of the second with his work rate, but in the last 15 seconds, he got worked over by the Puerto Rican fighter.
Ponce began to tire in the third and fourth rounds, as Matias wasn’t letting up and throwing a lot of hard shots on the inside. The punches were too many for Ponce to take, and the body shots that he was landing didn’t have any effect on Matias.