Subriel Matias Will Make The First Defence Of His IBF Super Lightweight Title Against Rances Barthelemy
Subriel Matias will defend his IBF Super Lightweight title for the first time against the former two-division champion, Cuba’s Rances Barthelemy according to reports. The bout is likely to land on Showtime this summer. JuliusJulianis on Twitter was first.
Matias was subject to interest from Matchroom, with a potential fight with WBC champion Regis Prograis on the table, however, this has not materialized. He will instead return to Showtime, the network on which he won his title early this year against Jermias Ponce in a fight of the year contender. Matias is an all-action power puncher and has become must-see TV over the last few years, with all of his 19 wins coming by stoppage.
Barthelemy recently got back to winning ways against Omar Juarez after a 6th-round stoppage loss to Gary Antuanne Russell in July 2022. He will look to win a world title at a third weight, after winning the 130lbs crown in 2014, and the 135lbs title in 2015. He has made one unsuccessful attempt at world honors at 140lbs, losing to Kiryl Relikh via UD in 2018 for the WBA title. At 37 years of age, this may well be his last chance to once again hold championship gold.
With WBA champion Rolly Romero also competing on Showtime, a potential unification bout with him is possible in the future for the winner. A Prograis bout could also be explored later this year or early next year. The other champion in the division is Josh Taylor, who puts his belt on the line against Teofimo Lopez on June 10. One of boxing’s biggest stars, Gervonta Davis, also fights under the PBC/Showtime umbrella.