Is Subriel Matias the best super lightweight in the world? Puerto Rican knockout artist is boxing danger man ahead of Paro fight

Puerto Rican knockout artist Subriel Matias makes the second defense of his IBF super lightweight title when he takes on unbeaten Australian Liam Paro in a homecoming card at the Coliseo Juan Aubin Cruz Abreu in Manati on June 15. The 12-round bout, plus undercard action, will be streamed live by DAZN.

WATCH: Subriel Matias vs. Liam Paro, live on DAZN

Matias doesn’t believe in judges. All 20 of his victories have come via knockout and he is now recognized as one of the most dangerous men in boxing. His one defeat, to Petros Ananyan in February 2020, was avenged via dominant ninth-round TKO two years later.

In terms of fighting style, Matias is a rampaging pressure fighter who can break his opponents down or take them out with a single shot. The 32-year-old can switch stance mid-attack and his variety is impressive in close or on the outside. A good combination puncher, he’ll take the power off his shots before suddenly releasing the bombs to finish a fight.

However, there are things Matias could improve on and the main area is defense. Like most fighters who rely on their aggression and punching power, he does leave gaps. In the seventh round of their first fight, Ananyan caught Matias squaring up and landed big shots that sent him reeling into the ropes, which forced the referee to administer a count. If the IBF champ finds himself in against elite-level opponents who are hovering on or around the pound-for-pound list, then he could be made to pay heavily for his mistakes.

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The Sporting News takes a look at Subriel Matias and assesses his current standing alongside his super lightweight contemporaries.

Can Subriel Matias beat Liam Paro?

Per BetMGM, Matias is the -700 favorite while Paro is the +500 underdog. Odds like that suggest Matias simply has to show up, but the challenger should not be overlooked.

Paro looked terrific in dismantling Montana Love in December and he’s not 24-0 for nothing. With 15 of his wins coming by knockout, the Australian star can punch his weight and he has solid skills.

The pick has to be Matias, but stranger things have happened.

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Is Subriel Matias the best at 140 pounds?

At time of writing, Matias is rated No. 2 by The Ring at super lightweight, sitting behind champion and WBO titleholder Teofimo Lopez and WBC counterpart Devin Haney.

Lopez is coming off a less than impressive points win over Jamaine Ortiz, while Haney lost for the first time in his career to Ryan Garcia in April. Given those results, many believe that Matias has a case for being the premier lightweight in the world right now. It’s not that easy, though.

Even though Lopez underperformed against Ortiz, “The Takeover” still holds a win over Josh Taylor, who was previously unbeaten and the lineal champion in the weight class at that time. Meanwhile, Haney, a former undisputed champ at lightweight, whitewashed ex-champ Regis Prograis in December. Matias cannot match those results.

However, if the IBF champ can overcome Paro and secure a fight against one of the top dogs, then he’ll have the chance to break free of the pack.

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