Home Boxing News After overcoming the odds, Liam Paro could return Down Under for first...

After overcoming the odds, Liam Paro could return Down Under for first world title defence

Liam Paro and Eddie Hearn

Newly-crowned IBF junior welterweight champion Liam ‘The Prodigy’ Paro 25-0 (15) was given little chance of defeating Subriel Matias 20-2 (20) at the Coliseo Juan Aubin Cruz Abreu in Manati, Puerto Rico on Saturday night.

Even his own promoter Eddie Hearn, who also promotes Matias, spent precious little time talking up the 28-year-old Australian southpaw’s chances in the lead up to the fight.

But a boxing masterclass from Paro tipped the 140-pound division on its head. Hearn walked away impressed.

“Liam [always] had an answer for him,” the Matchroom Boxing chief said after the fight. “He stood and fought with him. We said he’d have to get his respect. He did that.

“He pushed him back. He boxed off the back foot. It was an absolute masterclass. I had it so wide – with three or four rounds to go, Matias needed a knockout. It wasn’t even close.”

The opportunities Matias had coming his way will now afforded to Paro, who could make the debut defence of his world title in his native Australia and traveling halfway around the world to face the 32-year-old Matias in his home country.

“He did it – he changed his life,” Hearn said. “It’s an incredible performance – an incredible win, as a massive underdog. And we said, he can do it.

“He’s got the skills – he’s got the ability – but he’s the one that had the cojones to come here. He’s just won the world title off one of the most dangerous men at 140-pounds in his backyard.”

There are some good matchups to be made for Paro in the junior welterweight division.

“You’ve got Ryan Garcia, you’ve got [Isaac] ‘Pitbull’ Cruz, you’ve got Teofimo Lopez and you’ve got Richardson Hitchens up knocking soon for the mandatory,” Hearn said.

“This is just an incredible night for Australian boxing and Liam Paro, a massive underdog, to come in and do that in an unbelievable performance.”

One man who would be keen to be standing across the ring from Paro again is Matias, who conceded defeat but wants a shot at becoming a two-time world titleholder.

“I don’t feel like I’m in any position to say what I want, but if Eddie Hearn says, ‘You got to go to Australia and rematch Liam Paro’, I will knockout Liam Paro and do something I wasn’t able to do this evening,” said Matias at the post-fight press conference.

Hearn said: “Maybe that’s one fight first and then the championship. But the plan will be to rebuild and try and become a two-time champion.”

Paro, who beat Matias by scores of 116-111 and 115-112 twice, is in celebration mode after a life of hard work, dedication and sacrifice.

“That means the world to me,” said Paro, who dedicated the victory to his late friend Regan Grieve. “All we’ve got in this life is our word, and to be a man of mine on the highest scale, it means the world to me.

“I’m stoked. RG, baby, I made a promise to my friend who passed away, and I’m a man of my word.

“All the people who said I couldn’t do it, it’s Paro time!”