2019 was a bittersweet year for 27-year-old Subriel Matías. The junior welterweight boxer won by knockout in the three fights he took and his name is at the top of the rankings under the International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO).
But back in July he also dealt with a tragedy, when his opponent Maxim Dadashev died a few days after their fight. As a result of the punishment received during the fight, the Russian underwent an operation to relieve brain inflammation and fell into a coma. Dadashev was 28 years old.
The champions in that weight are José Ramírez (WBC and WBO), who will defend in February against Viktor Postol and Josh Taylor (WBA and IBF).
Matias is trying to put the Dadashev fight behind him, and now he wants to secure a world title shot in 2020.
He's heard the overseas rumors, where the Russian Boxing Federation has claimed that Dadashev was allowed to compete with pre-existing medical issues.
“I am one of the people who thinks that I am here today, but who knows about tomorrow. Possibly (Dadashev) could have had problems before getting into the ring with me, maybe the doctors didn't give him the right answer on how he was feeling, so I don't feel guilty,” Matias told Carlos Gonzalez.
“Every fight that happens is changing things. Right now I am enjoying a privilege that few in Puerto Rico have. I have 15 fights, 15 knockouts, ranked (among the first three) in two sanctioning bodies without having any type of title on my waist. That is due to the work of my promoter Juan Orengo. I assure you that every opportunity you give me, fans will enjoy my fights. I want to be millionaire. That is a goal because I know what it is to come from the mud, to go hungry, to want things.
"I know what it is to wear a pair of tight tennis shoes because they don't fit me, wear borrowed clothes. There are a lot of things. I am a person not by my father, nor my mother, but by so many people who have put grains into me. And that's why they call me the Pride of Maternillo."