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Jaime Munguia wants to challenge “BIG boys” at 160 – Eric Gomez

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By Dan Ambrose: Jaime Munguia (30-0, 27 KOs) has vacated his WBO junior middleweight title, and he’s moving up to 160 to challenge the “BIG boys,” said Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez. Munguia’s first fight at middleweight will be against Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan (30-3, 21 KOs) on January 11 LIVE on DAZN at the Alamodome, in San Antonio, Texas.

Six-year pro Munguia had been fighting at 154 since 2015, and it recently became a real hardship for him to grind down to make weight for the division. It’s an incredible feat that Munguia was able to make weight for the junior middleweight division as long as he could.

The 23-year-old Munguia rehydrates to around 175 pounds, and that’s too much weight for anyone to taking off for a fight. It obviously helped Munguia to be so huge for his fights in the 154-lb division, since he was able to crush his smaller opponents on just pure size rather than talent. It’s going to be more difficult for Munguia to dominate his opponents with his size now that he’s moving up to 160.

Munguia wants the big fights at middleweight

“He’s been fighting at 154 for a long time, and he wants to move up to 160 and challenge the big boys, said Golden Boy president Eric Gomez to Fighthype about Munguia. “Yes, he is [vacating WBO 154-lb title]. He’s going to start campaigning at 160,” said Gomez.

It’s pretty obvious what Gomez means when he says Munguia wants to “challenge the big boys.” He’s talking about Canelo Alvarez first and foremost. That’s the fight that Golden Boy Promotions will look to make as soon as possible, because they can’t afford to wait.

Munguia is vulnerable to losing to almost anyone. Once he loses, then the interest from boxing fans in a fight between him and Canelo will evaporate. The second guy that Golden Boy will want to match Munguia against is Gennadiy Golovkin, but only AFTER he faces Canelo first. Golovkin will arguably get Canelo’s leftovers in facing Munguia after.

Munguia was having problems making weight at 154

“When you meet him in person, you don’t realize how big he is,” said Gomez in talking about Munguia. “He’s really tall, 6-feet, 6’1”. So he’s a big kid, and he’s been really struggling to get down to 154, especially lately.

“What happens to these fighters, especially the young ones, as soon as they move up in weight, they feel so much better. They feel energized again, stronger, faster. So I think it’s going to be good for him. It depletes his energy, and power. When you squeeze him down in weight, there comes a time when they’re not losing anymore fat.

“All there they have is muscle now. When you start squeezing them down in weight, they start to lose muscle, and that’s when they get weak. It’s going to be an interesting fight. Sullivan is a tough customer. He’s very well schooled, and he’s a tough puncher as well. It’s going to be very exciting while it lasts. Someone is going to get knocked out,” said Gomez.

It’s no secret that Munguia has been having problems making the 154-lb limit for his fights. He looked horrible in struggling to defeat the light hitting Dennis Hogan by a controversial 12 round majority decision on April 13. Hogan embarrassed Munguia for 12 rounds in front of his own boxing fans in Monterrey, Mexico.

When Munguia was announced as the winner afterwards, he was booed by own fans. It was clear that Hogan had been given a bad decision. Boxing News 24 had Hogan winning that fight by a 7-5 score.

Munguia: I have to show I’m worthy of important fights

“‘I’m excited to be moving up to 160 lbs. where they say that some of the most important fighters in boxing are. I have a very tough fighter in front of me, Gary O’Sullivan who’s very tough. If I want those bigger fights then I have to demonstrate that I’m worthy of that against this guy,” said Munguia.

This is a fight that Munguia should win without any problems, since he’s facing an older fighter with a chin problem. O’Sullivan was knocked out in the 1st round by former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux in September 2018. Lemieux walked all over ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan in obliterating him right away.

Since that loss, O’Sullivan has come back to win his last 2 fights against lower level fighters Gabor Gorbics and Khiary Gray. However, O’Sullivan’s chin and his stamina are still major problems for him.

O’Sullivan’s only shot at beating Munguia is if he jumps on him early, and empties his tank going for the knockout. If he’s unable to knockout Munguia in the first 2 rounds, he’ll likely run out of gas and wind up getting stopped.

You can’t entirely blame Munguia’s performance on him struggling to make weight, as Hogan is someone that would have given him problems even BEFORE he started struggling at the weight. Munguia is a good fighter, but he’s basically just a slugger. The defense isn’t part of Munguia’s game, and likely never will be.

 


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