There is a reason all the belts at 140 are scattered, and no one has endeavored to unify them recently. The unification path goes through Subriel Matias, who has wiped his opponents clean and made them retire on stools. He is danger incarnate in the boxing ring, and standing before his mighty juggernaut is Liam Paro, who wants to shatter the champion’s myth of invincibility. What’s more? The Australian boxer has to do it in the champion’s den at the Coliseo Juan Aubin Cruz Abreu in Manati on June 15. Can he do the unthinkable?

Matias looks set to defend his crown for a second time, which he snatched from Jeremias Ponce last February. The Puerto Rican boxer has also recently signed up with Eddie Hearn‘s Matchroom Boxing, as he tries to add more illustrious names to his victim list. Meanwhile, Paro has dreams of clinching the gold strap and ushering in a reign of his own. But before these fighters settle it in the squared circle, let’s have a look at how these two stack up.

Subriel Matias vs. Liam Paro: tale of the tape


Article continues below this ad

Matias, at 32, is the more experienced of the two and holds a mind-boggling record of 20-1. The lightweight champion has ransacked the division, as he racked up all 20 victories via knockouts. His staggering KO ratio of 100% tells you what he has done to his foes in the squared circle. His explosive and fan-friendly style has helped him reach the top of the super lightweight division’s food chain.

via Getty

But nothing separates the IBF champion from his challenger on paper. While he stands tall at 5’8″ (173 cm), Paro is taller by the thinnest of margins at 5’8″ (174 cm). Moreover, both fighters have an almost identical reach of 71″ (180 cm). Paro also comes in heavier at 140.0 lbs (63.5 kg), compared to Matias’ 139.8 lbs (63.4 kg). But that’s the end of the similarities between the two. Apart from the body frame and dimensions, ‘The Prodigy’ has a different approach to his fights.

The 28-year-old boasts an unblemished record of 24-0 with 15 KOs and has balanced aggression with method in the ring. His KO ratio of 62.5% strengthens his image as a well-rounded fighter who knows when to grind a win and when to finish a fight. But is Paro’s well-blended technique and approach enough? Has it yielded desirable results to push the narrative in his favor?

Recent form, momentum, and fighting style

The Mackay native trained with Jeff Horn at the age of 20 and learned the art of throwing a punch from him. It paid dividends as it polished his skills and gave him a taste of the top boxers’ skills and acumen. Paro has showcased versatility and knows how to mold himself according to the needs of a fight. The southpaw boxer churned out a win despite going down in the first round of his fight with Yomar Alamo. He followed it up with a first-round KO over Brock Jarvis and most recently floored Montana Love last December. But this will be a totally different fight for him, as he has to cope with Matias’ aggression.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Liam Paro (@liamparoboxing)


‘Browny’ secured the title in a dismantling job of Ponce, where he retired his opponent on the stool. He would follow up with a similar performance when he knocked the wind out of Shohjahon Ergashev, who had planned to out-punch him with his heavy punches. But that didn’t happen. The busy, heavy-handed Matias has rocked all of his rivals in the ring with his short hooks to the body. There is no lengthy trigger movement to land power shots, and his compactness also works for him.

The only time Matias lost a fight? The Fajardo native avenged his loss to Petros Ananyan in a nine-round beatdown two years later. So, there is no boxer who stepped into the ring, stood across from him, and didn’t get plummeted. Will Paro meet a similar fate?

Prediction: Who wins it?


Article continues below this ad

What separates Matias from the rest? He can trade punches and come on top of those exchanges, out-muscling other boxers. ‘El Orgullo de Maternillo’ has a solid chin too, but he is not devoid of holes. He leaves himself open to be hit and counter-punched. The critics can also sum him up as unidimensional.

Paro has a clear game plan for the championship fight. The super lightweight boxer wants to employ angles, fast feet, and good footwork to negate Matias’ skillset. He won’t shy away from exchanging and fighting dirty if needed. Paro is willing to go on a 12-round war and will capitalize on the openings, which Matias is prone to. Instead of playing the fight by power, he will utilize his good footwork, straight left, and set him up with effective shots. Paro is ready for the fight of his life and will box on the inside, outside, and even dirty.

It remains to be seen whether Paro will stick to his game plan and finally conquer the most feared man in the 140 division. On the other hand, it is the perfect stage for Matias to seize eyeballs and set himself up for a bigger fight.


Article continues below this ad

What do you make of this coming fight between Subriel Matias and Liam Paro? Do you believe Matias will continue his stronghold on the IBF title? Let us know in the comments below.