When Subriel Matias met Juan Manuel Marquez

Few get the opportunity to speak intimately with their idols. In an exclusive interview with ProBox TV, Puerto Rican puncher Subriel Matias  and Mexican great Juan Manuel Marquez discussed Matias’ next opponent Shohjahon Ergashev, Mexican style training, and other potential fights in the thriving 140lbs scene…

Juan Manuel Marquez: Subriel, tell us more about what is coming from your next opponent, who is about to be confirmed.

Subriel Matias: Well look, really [Shohjahon] Ergashev is a person from what you see in his videos, strong, strong throwing punches, because you as an athlete know that there are two ways of being strong, which is to take shots and throwing shots, and he has not yet been in the position of taking punishment. I know what is going to happen when he faces me, and then we will see what he’s made of, but I understand that it will be a tough fight up to the point where he’s hurt, because I know that it will be a knockout, either way, it will be a knockout. I am inclined on my part that I am going to take him out, so I think it will be interesting up to the point where it lasts.

Marquez: Your idea of going to Jiquipilco at altitude, who told you that it’s a great place to train to get into a great physical condition? I know because I did it on the other side of Toluca. Also tell us if you are getting results there.

Matias: I'm going to be honest Marquez, I had no idea about this place. I had heard about it when Julio Cesar Chavez [came] in 2000, I knew it was famous, but I didn't really know what was behind it, the seriousness, how complicated it is to have internet, it's an environment where you can see different things and entertain yourself. The idea of being here in Jiquipilco came from my promoter and my manager. Firstly in 2021, I went to Sinaloa [Mexico] and it was my first preparation at altitude, at the time where I took the rematch with this dude who had beaten me [Petros Ananyan], and thank God we came out healthy. We stopped him in round nine when the doctor stepped in. Then, I came here on May 2, 2022, at around the time I had the fight for the world title. I can't tell you that I felt much difference, as the fight lasted five rounds and we know that after the round seven or eight is when you really know how you’ve trained, and I didn't get that far.

However I can tell you that I felt strong and confident, I've been a person that when I get my hands wrapped I usually tremble, not out of fear, but I usually tremble. That day when I was getting wrapped up by my trainer Panda [Jay Najar], I didn't feel my hands, I told my manager [Pedro Cruz] “Hey boss, I feel like I have no hands I don't know what's wrong with me”. I understand that it gave me a feeling of security, to be here without knowing the whole story, but I felt a certainty that definitely, I know that everything is going to be fine in my next bout.

Marquez: The fight between Regis Prograis and Devin Haney, who would you like to win? You’ve already said more or less who you’d be able to fight with, but do you think it will be a tough fight? Tell us more or less how you see those fighters.

Matias: Well look, I think a style like Haney’s, it fits a style like mine that is tough, that doesn't let the opponent think, so I believe Prograis doesn't meet those expectations. Prograis is passive, he's slow, he's strong yes, that's not taken away from him, but I think he'll get whitewashed.

Marquez: So you would like to face the winner of that fight? As you mention Haney could possibly win this fight.

Matias: For me it would be an honour, of course, and it would be even better as a unification. It would be interesting because truthfully, many do not see me perhaps among the best in the division, but I understand that what I need is the opportunity and to show the world that the pride of Maternillo is here.

Probox TV: Is there a Mexican fighter that you would like to face? There has always been a rivalry between Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Matias: I would have liked to face Juan Manuel Marquez, as my idol - but no, he would have beaten me up [laughs].

Marquez: Hey, Subriel [laughs] it’s a good thing we didn't compete at the same time, otherwise it would have been important.

Matias: You have my respect but something from the heart, and I say it without hypocrisy, I say it with my heart in my hand, I really liked your fights, especially against [Juan] “Baby Bull” Diaz, I loved watching that brother.