Subriel Matias is not only locked into his mandatory title defense but is now at the mercy of the highest bidder.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the IBF has scheduled a purse bid hearing for Matias’ ordered junior welterweight title fight versus Shohjahon Ergashev. The negotiation period came and went without a deal reached and now available to all IBF-registered promoters who wish to participate in the August 15 purse bid from the sanctioning body’s New Jersey headquarters.
“On July 11, 2023, the IBF ordered Subriel Matias and Shohjahon Ergashev to begin negotiations for the IBF Jr. Welterweight mandatory defense,” IBF president Daryl Peoples instructed all registered promoters in a letter obtained by BoxingScene.com. “An agreement could not be reached within the time frame allowed by the IBF.
“The IBF is ordering a Purse Bid in these offices on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, at 12:00 PM (EST). Bids must be submitted at 11:45 AM (EST) to be promptly opened at 12:00 PM.”
The ordered fight comes after a request was denied for Matias to next face former titleholder Sergey Lipinets in a hoped-for voluntary title defense. The IBF never received any such paperwork at the time of the ordered mandatory title defense, in accordance with Rule 6.D covering obligations for winners of vacant titles.
“The winner of the vacant title must make his mandatory defense against the leading available contender as designated by the Championships Chairman within six (6) months after its acquisition by him in a contest scheduled for twelve (12) rounds against a leading available contender as designated by the Championships Chairman.”
Matias is guided by Juan Orengo’s Fresh Productions and has fought under the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) umbrella for each of his last five contests. Ergashev is represented by Salita Promotions, headed by former 140-pound contender Dmitriy Salita.
The two sides could not come to terms, which triggered the automatic purse bid.
Puerto Rico’s Matias (19-1, 19KOs) won the 140-pound title with a stoppage of Argentina’s Jeremias Ponce (30-1, 20KOs) after five rounds in their February 26 title fight from The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their bout came with the vacant belt at stake in lieu of the final leg of a previously ordered four-man box-off to determine the mandatory challenger to then-champ Josh Taylor (19-1, 13KOs).
The win was the fourth in a row for the 31-year-old from Fajardo, Puerto Rico since his lone defeat. Matias dropped a ten-round decision to Petros Ananyan in February 2020 but stopped the Los Angeles-based Armenian in the ninth round of their rematch last January 22 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Ergashev (23-0, 20KOs) was prepared to enter his first title eliminator but could instead land his first title shot if Matias is not permitted to next face Lipinets.
The 31-year-old Uzbek, now based in Detroit, has struggled to secure willing opponents as he has advanced from prospect to contender. His most notable win to date came in a ten-round, unanimous decision over Mykal Fox in their February 2019 battle of unbeaten prospects. Six wins have followed, most recently an eight-round decision over Luis Alberto Veron in a stay-busy fight last May 26 in his adopted Detroit hometown.
Boxers are not permitted to enter another fight once ordered by the IBF—or any other sanctioning body—to enter a sanctioned title bout or eliminator.
Matias is entitled to the favorable end of a 70/30 split as the defending titlist, per Thursday’s order.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox