Like a feline waiting for his prey to slip up, Daniel Matellon patiently awaits the big opportunity for a world title fight. This June 9, when the bell rings for his eliminator against Venezuelan Carlos Cañizales, in the first WBA KO Drugs event in Buenos Aires, the Cuban will go out to attack and try to capture that chance he has been dreaming of for so long.
It will be the main event of the opening of the KO Drugs International Boxing Festival, which will take place for two days at the Buenos Aires Casino, in Argentina. The winner of this bout between the light flyweight fighters Matellón and Cañizales will be the first contender for the title, currently held by the unified champion of the category, the Japanese Kenshiro Teraji.
For Matellon it could be, perhaps, the most important stop so far of a long stretch in his professional career. In July 2020, in the main event of the KO Drugs staged in Panama, “El Verdugo” won the interim world title against Erick “Habanerito” Lopez by majority decision, in a great fight.
In doing so, he became the first Cuban to win a 108-pound title, even though it was interim. He successfully defended that title once, but after the implementation of the WBA’s “One Champion Only” policy, he was ranked number one in the world rankings, a position he has maintained. Today he holds the Fedecaribe title in the division.
“Work, discipline and constancy is what leads you to success,” he recently let it be known on his social networks.
Matellón is a boxer with an extensive background, with more than 200 bouts in his amateur stage and international participations with the Cuban national team. Fully focused on his professional career since his arrival in Panama in 2016, his second homeland, he has long cherished the opportunity to achieve the glory that eluded him in the Olympics.
And once again, he is on the verge of the big fight for a world title. And now, for the second time, Carlos Cañizales emerges as the obstacle to beat; before as the regular champion he wished to face. Years later, he will finally face him in the ring. The outcome will put the winner on the road to the fight for the 108-pound black and gold belt.
Aggressive style, technique and power are the signature hallmarks of El Verdugo.
With his heart in his native Cuba and Panama, his adopted homeland, Matellon will try to come out with his hands up to finally go for the big goal.
As part of the 39th KO Drugs in Buenos Aires, Venezuelan Mayerlin Rivas will defend her super bantamweight championship against Argentina’s Nazarena Romero, in the main bout of the festival’s closing event on Saturday, June 10, at the Casino Buenos Aires.
Both fights will be broadcasted by TyC Sports, through its channels TyC Sports and TyC Sports Play, in its “Boxeo de Primera” series, while the worldwide subscription platform DAZN will rebroadcast the Rivas-Romero fight.