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IBF orders Subriel Matias to face Shohjahon Ergashev

Shohjahon Ergashev is 23-0 with 20 knockouts but has no notable wins in the last three years

Gary Russell Jr v Mark Magsayo Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Things are getting a bit byzantine in the super lightweight division.

Earlier this month, Mike Coppinger brought word that IBF champion Subriel Matias would defend his title against Sergey Lipinets in August. A few days later, he reported that the fight would instead take place “later this year.” Now, International Boxing News reveals and Jake Donovan confirms that the IBF have ordered Matias to face Shohjahon Ergashev.

If there was a deal in place for Matias-Lipinets, that will presumably be allowed to proceed, otherwise Matias (19-1, 19 KO) will need to either change course or pay Ergashev (23-0, 20 KO) to step aside.

Uzbekistan’s Ergashev has had what could charitably be called a start-and-stop career. He got two solid wins by edging out Mykal Fox in 2019 and smoking Adrian Estrella in 92 seconds 11 months later, but effectively vanished off the face of the Earth afterwards. At 31 years old, now’s the time to step on the gas.

Like Lipinets, he should make for an absolute slugfest with Matias, who has an opportunity to establish himself as The Man at 140 after Teofimo Lopez’s retirement and Regis Prograis’ ungainly performance against Danielito Zorrilla. We’ll see how this plays out.

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