Subriel Matias realizes Josh Taylor eventually did what made the most business sense for the former undisputed 140-pound champion after he defended the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO belts nearly a year ago.

Matias just wishes Taylor would’ve relinquished those IBF, WBA and WBC championships before his decisions delayed contenders like him from getting title shots. Puerto Rico’s Matias (18-1, 18 KOs) will end a 13-month layoff when he squares off against Argentina’s Jeremias Ponce (30-0, 20 KOs) on February 25 for the IBF junior welterweight title Taylor gave up August 24.

Ponce was the mandatory challenger for Taylor’s IBF belt, but Matias and Ponce were ordered to fight for the IBF’s interim junior welterweight crown before Taylor vacated the IBF’s 140-pound title. The Scottish southpaw didn’t inform the IBF that he would give up its 140-pound title until almost six months after his controversial split-decision victory over Jack Catterall last February 26 at OVO Hydro in Glasgow.

Matias and Ponce therefore will fight for that title in a “Showtime Championship Boxing” main event at The Armory in Minneapolis. Though Matias would’ve welcomed his own shot at Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs), the knockout artist isn’t about to complain about his long-awaited opportunity to become a world champion.

“I would’ve loved to fight against him,” Matias told when asked about Taylor. “He’s a great fighter, one of the best in the division, no doubt about it. The thing that bothered me wasn’t as much the fact that I couldn’t face him, but the fact that he held the whole division hostage by not letting go of the titles sooner. He took his sweet time to do it. That’s what bothered me more than anything.”

Taylor’s rematch against England’s Catterall has been postponed multiple times, most recently due to Taylor’s foot injury, and now Taylor will fight Teofimo Lopez fight for the WBO junior welterweight championship, the only title Taylor kept following his debatable defeat of Catterall (26-1, 13 KOs). Catterall was the mandatory challenger for Taylor’s WBO belt when they fought nearly a year ago, but Taylor insisted on a rematch he wasn’t obligated to take because he wanted to silence skeptics who believe he lost to Catterall.

Matias, meanwhile, doesn’t blame Taylor for any of the financial decisions he has made since he became their division’s second fully unified champion of the four-belt era in May 2021.

“I think that what happened with Taylor was that as a professional boxer, you know, you look for the best paydays, the best opportunities,” Matias said. “And he went another way. I think that’s what happened with him. I don’t think that he was trying to dodge me or anybody else.”

Ponce, who is ranked number one among the IBF’s junior welterweight contenders, and the second-ranked Matias will headline a tripleheader set to start at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.

The 10-round co-feature will match Minneapolis’ Jamal James (27-2, 12 KOs), a former WBA world welterweight champ, against Argentina’s Alberto Palmetta (18-1, 13 KOs). In the 10-round opener of the telecast, Elvis Rodriguez (13-1-1, 12 KOs), a southpaw from the Dominican Republic, is set to box Joseph Adorno (17-1-2, 14 KOs), of Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.