Subriel Matias Defeats Malik Hawkins By Seventh Round TKO
Subriel Matias (16-1, 16 KOs) overpowered and overwhelmed rising prospect Malik Hawkins (18-1, 11 KOs) en route to a dominant 7th round TKO win at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. Viewed as a 50/50 fight coming in, Matias won going away.
Tall for the division at 6’0’, Hawkins began the fight on the outside. He did a decent job of creating angles and throwing his shots behind a tight guard. Matias is known as a pressure fighter. He lived up to that billing. He intended to smother his foe while landing hard punches in bunches.
Rounds two, three, and four saw Matias crank up the activity even more. He charged in like a bull, connecting with left hooks to the head and right hands to the body. This was a step up fight for Hawkins. You could tell that he has not fought someone the level of the 28-year-old from Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Matias was forcing him to fight harder than he has in any of his previous fights.
Here was the dilemma for Hawkins: Matias was coming in with his hands by his sides leaving himself wide-open for shots. However, Hawkins was dealing with so much pressure and fighting at a pace that he did not seem to be able to relax, get the jab off and let the punches go. Plus, he was making the mistake of stepping straight back instead of side-stepping to avoid the punches.
The attack continued during the middle rounds and with 1:17 to go in the sixth, Matias was credited with a knockdown from a left hand that appeared to land above the ear. To make matters worse, Hawkins was showing significant swelling over his right eye.
THE REFEREE CALLS IT
At the beginning of the seventh, Hawkins was battered and beaten up. Referee Johnny Callas took him to a neutral corner. Upon observation, Callas ruled that Hawkins was in bad shape and subsequently stopped the fight. Coming off of a loss in his previous fight to Petros Ananyan, this stoppage win puts Matias right in the thickets of the 140-pound landscape.
Looking to graduate from prospect to legit contender, this is a devastating loss for Hawkins. While still young at 23-years-old, it is going to take some time to recover from not just a loss, but from what turned out to be a physical beating.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.