In a pretty sizable upset, 31-year-old Armenian Petros Ananyan edged a decision over previously-unbeaten prospect Subriel Matias, kicking off the Wilder-Fury 2 prelim action from Las Vegas.
Ananyan (15-2-2, 7 KO), who is now based in Brooklyn, had come in with losses in two of his last three fights, and was expected to be handled here by Matias (15-1, 15 KO), the 27-year-old Puerto Rican banger who appeared to be on the rise after last year’s win over Maxim Dadashev.
This was Matias’ first fight back in the US since that tragic night in Maryland. He’d fought in Puerto Rico in late November, beating journeyman Jonathan Jose Eniz via fifth round TKO. Ananyan looked a bit overmatched early here, which was expected, but Matias’ defensive indifference also meant that Ananyan was landing some clean shots.
Ananyan kept hanging around at worst, though he was cut and losing some blood. He stayed brave in exchanges with the hard-punching Matias, and caught the Puerto Rican with a good shot late in the seventh round, rocking him back into the ropes, where referee Robert Byrd ruled a knockdown.
In the end, judges had it 95-94, 95-94, and 96-93 in Ananyan’s favor. There is at least some debate on the scores here, it wouldn’t be hard to find six rounds to give to Matias, perhaps, but it goes down as a loss, and it’s a pretty big setback for him. He seemed on the cusp of a possible world title fight at 140, but that’s out of the question for the time being.