Munguia: Canelo won’t stand and fight Golovkin
By Dan Ambrose: WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia says Saul Canelo Alvarez won’t stand and trade with IBO/WBA/WBC 160 lb. champion Gennady ‘GGG” Golovkin in their fight on September 15, but he still believes he’ll beat him. Munguiao doesn’t say why he thinks Canelo won’t stand and fight it out with GGG, but he thinks he has more opportunities’ to improve in their rematch on HBO PPV than GGG does.
After all the criticism Canelo received for using lots of movement in the first fight with GGG, he’s now talking like he’s going to stand and fight on September 15. Unfortunately, you can’t count on that happening because of his stamina problems. Canelo looked like he wanted nothing to do with a toe-to-toe war with him last September in their fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Golovkin was throwing jabs and staying on the outside. He wasn’t using his size against Canelo that you would think he should have done. Still, Canelo’s movement made it look like he was running from rounds 3 through 12. The judges gave Canelo the championship rounds based on him coming forward at times in the first minute of rounds 10, 11 and 12, but he wasn’t able to maintain that aggression for the entire rounds. Canelo was tired after the first minute and either running or staying on the ropes in the final two minutes of those rounds.
Whoever wins the Canelo-GGG 2 rematch, Munguia, 21, says he’s open to fighting the winner of the fight. Munguia almost fought Golovkin on May 5, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission vetoed the idea because of his lack of experience at 160. Munguia had never fought at middleweight before. He still hasn’t fought at middleweight, but he’s now the World Boxing Organization 154lb champion after beating Sadam Ali by a 4th round knockout last May.
”Now that I’m a champion, I’d love to fight Canelo,” Munguia said to Fighthub. ”I believe it’s going to be similar as the first fight,” Munguia said about the previous Canelo-GGG fight last September. ”I don’t believe Canelo is going to stand and fight against Gennady Golovkin,” Munguia said.
Well, Munguia may ultimately get his wish of fighting Canelo if he’s willing to move up to middleweight to increase his chances of the fight taking place. I doubt that Canelo is going to move down in weight to 154 to make the fight happen with Munguia. Canelo will likely use his A-side muscle o force Munguia to move up in weight to the 160 lb. weight class for the contest to take place. That move won’t hurt Munguia because he’s essentially a natural middleweight. The only reason Munguia is competing at 154 is because it gives him an advantage
“Of course, I’d love to fight the winner of that fight,” Munguia said to Fino Boxing about the Canelo vs. GGG II fight. ”I think Canelo is going to be in better shape and better prepared. I think Canelo has more opportunities to change things. I hope his knee is okay for the fight. I hope Canelo wins,” Munguia said.
Munguia is counting on a better conditioned Canelo being able to come forward more against GGG than he did last time. I’m not sure if he will though. In the recent training photos of Canelo, he looks a lot smaller and weaker than he did for his previous fight against Golovkin. It’s unclear what Canelo is doing differently in this training camp compared to for the first fight, but he looks a lot smaller. Perhaps Canelo is working on his cardio a lot more in hopes that he’ll be able to fight hard for a full three minute round instead of just for the first minute.
If Canelo is smaller and weaker than he was for the first fight, then it’s going to be awfully tough for him to take the fight to Golovkin. Canelo can’t trade with Golovkin if he’s the size of a junior middleweight. That won’t work. We saw what Golovkin did in breaking down Kell Brook in their fight in 2016. Brook was a junior middleweight-sized welterweight, and he was forced to run from GGG after getting hurt by the first left hook he landed in round 1. If the undersized 5’8” Canelo tries to go to war with Golovkin, he’s going to be over-powered and taken out. Golovkin isn’t going to throwing jabs like he did in the first fight. He’s going to be looking to hurt Canelo with power shots, and force him into a war whether he wants to or not. I think Golovkin is going to stay close and make Canelo work hard for the full three minutes of each round. We saw what happened to Canelo when Golovkin stayed on top of him in the 12th. Canelo got tired and lost what power he had on his shots.
As for Munguia getting the winner of the Canelo Alvarez vs. GGG II fight, it’s not going to happen. Both of those fighters will have pressure on them to face the other middleweights in the division after they face each other on September 15. If Canelo and GGG don’t face each other in an immediate third fight, then they’ll look to face the likes of Daniel Jacobs, Ryota Murata, Sergey Derevyanchenko and Jermall Charlo. Munguia isn’t well known enough for Canelo or GGG to face him yet.
Munguia (29-0, 25 KOs) will be defending against #1 WBO mandatory challenger Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith (29-1-1, 14 KOs) this Saturday night on July 21 on HBO World Championship Boxing at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Munguia will be facing the toughest opponent of his career in Smith. Munguia says the fight the 29-year-old Smith is going to be easier than his 4th round knockout win over Sadam Ali last May. Munguia states that Smith’s stationary way of fighting will be ideal for his fighting style, making him a sitting duck to his power shots. Ali tried using movement against Munguia after getting dropped twice in round 1. Ali wasn’t able to elude Munguia for long, as the ring was small and he couldn’t move enough to keep him off of him for any length of time.
“I believe it’s going to be much easier because Sadam Ali moves a lot,” Munguia said to Fighthub when asked whether Liam Smith is an easier fight than his last match against Sadam Ali. ”Liam Smith is right in front of you and throws lots of punches. I believe this is only the beginning. I’m very young. Of course, I’m going to look for a knockout. If it happens, great; if it doesn’t, no problems,” Munguia said about his goal of knocking Smith out.
Munguia better not forget about his defense because Smith has respectable punching power, and he could surprise him with his shots. In Munguia’s fight against Ali, he took some shots squarely on the jaw that snapped his head sideways on a number of occasions. Munguia was able to walk through the shots from Ali because the fight was basically a match between a welterweight and middleweight. Ali never had stood a chance of winning due to his size. Smith is a true junior middleweight with more size, power and better punch resistance than Ali.
”I expect a fight with a lot of punches,” Munguia said to Fino Boxing about his July 21 fight against Liam Smith. ”I need to be careful with his right hand and his uppercut. I’m going to throw a lot of punches too. It’s going to be a fight with a lot of punches,” Munguia said.
It’ll be interesting to see if Munguia’s punching power will have the same effect on Liam Smith as it did against welterweight Sadam. If Smith can handle Munguia’s punching power, then this fight could go either way. Smith has a lot more experience than Munguia, and he might be able to outsmart him and take him out in the later rounds.