Subriel Matias rebounded from his first loss in February by outclassing and stopping Malik Hawkins at the top of the seventh round
Uncasville, CONN. (October 24, 2020) — Subriel Matias needed a round to adjust to the length, and unexpected output, of Baltimore, Maryland native Malik Hawkins. Hawkins entered the bout undefeated, and looking to take down Matias to cement his standing as a contender at the talent-laden Super Lightweight division.
Hawkins’ superiority was temporary. Despite starting quickly and having a great deal of early success, Hawkins’ power seemed to only convince Matias that he was in for a short night of work. He never panicked over the first minute, or so, when he hardly threw a punch.
Once Matias asserted himself Hawkins’ response only emboldened the shorter, heavier handed Puerto Rican. In the second round Matias walked to Hawkins with his hands lowered, and often without any jab. Once he got home he unleashed powerful left hooks that started having an immediate effect on the 24-year old from Charm City.
Hawkins planted himself inside of Matias’ chest early in round three. Matias pressed forward with his hands down looking to punish Hawkins. Matias stalked Hawkins, forcing the Baltimore native to either touch him with his jab or stand his ground. Matias troubled Hawkins with double left hooks.
Hawkins’ right eye started to swell around four as Matias’ left hand was also thrown upstairs.
In round five Hawkins backed away after being hurt in the mid-round by a 3-punch combination. Matias dropped Hawkins in the sixth round. A punch that landed behind Hawkins’ right ear resulted in the start of a 10-count. The punishment only increased throughout the sixth round. Immediately after the bell in round seven the ringside physician evaluated Hawkins before leaning forward to advise him he couldn’t allow him to continue.
Matias hadn’t dropped out of the Top 10 for at least one sanctioning body following his disappointing loss in February. After the one-sided win he shared some thoughts on his performance, as well as future plans after picking up a win in impressive fashion.
“The biggest difference between this fight and my last loss was the way I trained in the gym. I didn’t train as much as I should have (for the last fight). Malik didn’t have the power to hurt me. In the first round, I knew that. And that’s when I kept moving forward and starting hurting him in the body. And that’s what I kept doing, just going to the body.
“I’ll fight anyone. Whoever they put in front of me. I want a title eliminator, and then I want to fight for a world title.”
Hawkins’ night didn’t go according to plan, but he spoke positively about the direction of his campaign in the wake of his first loss.
“He was doing a bunch of dirty things in the fight. I’m not going to sit here and cry over spilled milk. He was the better man tonight. I’m back in the gym.”
Featured image by Amanda Westcott/Showtime Boxing