IBF junior welterweight champion Subriel Matias 20-1 (20) looks set to defend his title against Australian contender Liam Paro 24-0 (15) in Puerto Rico in the northern summer.
According to the 31-year-old champion’s promoter Juan Orengo, the deal is 90% done for Matias to make the first defence of his world title in his home country.
The bout will be broadcast by DAZN after Matias’ contract with PBC expired.
“I am going with more confidence [to his new camp] because several things are supposed to have changed regarding the date,” Matias said to leading Puerto Rican publication El Nuvo Dia just before flying out to Mexico via Miami for a high altitude training camp.
“We are not with PBC, the matter is more serious. The doors are open with them, but our next fight is not going to be with them.”
Southpaw Paro, 27, returned to the ring with a bang in December after more than a year spent on the sidelines due to various injuries. His unfortunate opponent was one-time contender and fellow lefty Montana Love 18-2-1 (9), who was stopped in six.
Matias was impressed by what he saw but said that “the most I can say is that we are going to overtake him.”
“He is brave and has his boxing,” Matias continued. “He stops. He is left-handed and he is strong. We have to see if he has the same balls as me.
“I like it and that’s what the fan wants to see, because no one wants to see two people running through the ring.”
Matias has no qualms about forcing Paro to travel halfway around the world to face him, saying that if he was in the challenger’s position, he would be happy to do the same.
“The title makes it possible for things to go in my favour,” he said. “Everyone wants to be a champion and few can, and so they have to take advantage of the opportunities that come their way. I would have done the same. In fact, we did it. So I understand Liam Paro’s hunger for wanting to come to my house to take away what cost me so much, because the title was not given to me.
“I am going to prepare as if I were going to die that day [the day of the fight] and that the fan will enjoy a good fight.”
Promotor Orengo is confident the Paro fight will get signed. He is currently working on securing a venue for the bout, with the Roberto Clemente Coliseum and the Jose Miguel Agrelot Coliseum in San Juan both in the running, as well as the Ruben Rodríguez in Bayamon.
“It’s going to be with Liam Paro,” the Fresh Productions Boxing president said. “We are in the final touches. We are at 90%. As for the headquarters, the same. 90% of it will be in Puerto Rico. It will be here and with Paro because it is with him that we are talking.
“He accepted, I accepted. He is coming to Puerto Rico, which is something that is not easy to negotiate because almost always those fighters want to fight in the United States so as not to go to the country of the champion. He accepted everything and we decided on him.”
Matias will be having his first fight since his sixth-round stoppage of previously undefeated Uzbek southpaw Shohjahon Ergashev 23-1 (20) in Las Vegas in November.
“I’m going to see how [Matias] continues to feel with his hand,” Orengo added. “The adaptation in Mexico is two weeks at the altitude where he goes [over 10,000 feet above sea level]. Training will start in mid-February and I always give 14 weeks of training. Starting from there [the fight] would be between June or July and here in Puerto Rico, 90%.”