Subriel Matias captured the vacant IBF 140-pound championship Saturday night over Jeremias Ponce.
The title fight was the headline act live on Showtime from The Armory in Showtime.
Puerto Rico’s Matias (19-1, 19 KOs) captured the title in an electric firefight that saw the two top-ranked 140-pounders throw over 800 combined punches in five rounds according to CompuBox.
For Matias, the victory culminated a long journey that had him away from his family for nearly a year as he trained in Mexico for his first title opportunity.
“I’m on cloud nine right now,” Matias said. “I don’t think I’ve woken up from this dream. Maybe I can tell you how it feels tomorrow, but right now, it’s a dream come true. I wanted to work him from the first round on, because I knew he wouldn’t have the same power as me as the fight went on.”
Ponce (30-1, 20 KOs) came out extremely aggressive and looked to swarm Matias early as he threw 96 punches in round one, out landing Matias 28 to 11. Matias adjusted in round two, closing the distance and smothering Ponce to dull some of his attack while also finding spots for his own short power punches.
In the co-main event, Minneapolis-native and welterweight contender Jamal “Shango” James (28-2, 12 KOs) returned from a 16-month layoff to thrill a sold-out hometown crowd and earn a unanimous decision victory after 10-rounds against Argentine Olympian Alberto Palmetta (18-2, 13 KOs).
In the telecast opener, super lightweight contender Elvis Rodriguez (14-1-1,12 KOs) overcame a slow start to earn a hard-fought majority decision over the hard-hitting Joseph Adorno (17-2-2, 14 KOs) after 10 rounds.