One of the most intriguing fights in the loaded 140-pound division will be part of the David Benavidez-Demetrius Andrade undercard November 25 in Las Vegas.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that Subriel Matias’ mandated defense of his IBF junior welterweight title against Shohjahon Ergashev will be one of three bouts Showtime Pay-Per-View will broadcast before Benavidez battles Andrade next month at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena. The IBF ordered Puerto Rico’s Matias (19-1, 19 KOs) to box Uzbekistan’s Ergashev (23-0, 20 KOs) on June 28, but TBG Promotions has considered several dates for their fight since Tom Brown’s company won a purse bid August 22 on behalf of Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions to earn the right to put on their 12-round, 140-pound title fight.
ESPN.com’s Mike Coppinger first reported that the Matias-Ergashev fight will be part of the Benavidez-Andrade undercard.
As has been reported by BoxingScene.com and other outlets, the Benavidez-Andrade undercard will also include the long-awaited return of WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo. Houston’s Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs), who hasn’t fought since June 2021, will box Benavidez’s older brother, Jose Benavidez Jr. (28-2-1, 19 KOs), in the 12-round co-feature that will immediately precede David Benavidez’s defense of his WBC interim super middleweight title against Andrade.
Matias, 31, has won four fights in a row since Armenia’s Petros Ananyan (then 14-2-2) upset him by unanimous decision in a 10-round bout that took place in February 2020 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The hard-hitting Matias avenged his lone loss by stopping Ananyan in the ninth round of their rematch in January 2022 at Borgata Event Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Matias’ most recent win was perhaps his most impressive victory to date. He stopped then-unbeaten Argentinean contender Jeremias Ponce (30-1, 20 KOs) after the fifth round of their fan-friendly title fight February 25 at The Armory in Minneapolis.
Ergashev, who is also 31, is the IBF’s third-ranked contender for Matias’ title, but he is the highest-rated available challenger because the top two spots in the IBF’s 140-pound rankings are unoccupied.
The strong southpaw has knocked out 87 percent of his foes since he made his pro debut in December 2015, slightly less than Matias’ knockout ratio (90 percent). Ergashev hasn’t fought a high level of opposition while moving up in the 140-pound rankings, but his modest resume is partially the byproduct of top opponents in their division viewing him as a high-risk, low-reward type of fighter.
Ergashev, who is trained by Javan “Sugar Hill” Steward in Detroit, hasn’t fought since he stopped Mexico’s Angel Martinez Hernandez (then 14-1-2, 14 KOs) in August 2022 at Garden Theater in Detroit.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.