By Sean Jones: Former WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia moved up successfully to 160 last Saturday night and won his first fight in the division in defeating Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan by a technical knockout in round 11 in front of a packed house at The Alamodome in San Antonio, TX. The fight was shown on DAZN.
Wasting no time, the Golden Boy Promotions KO artist Munguia (35-0, 28 KOs) took advantage of the spotlight that was on him moments after his victory by using the opportunity to call out the following top fighters at 160:
- Canelo Alvarez
- Gennadiy Golovkin
- Jermall Charlo
- Jermell Charlo
Munguia wants the best at 160
“I would like to fight the best of this division: Canelo, Golovkin, or the Charlos. I know they have more experience, but I look forward to those fights,” said Munguia.
O’Sullivan (30-4, 21 KOs) is a good B-level 154-lb fighter, but he’s not a true 160-pound guy. It was troubling that Munguia was hitting him with everything he threw in the fight, and not hurting him. The power wasn’t there for Jaime, and it’s obvious that he’s not going to be a puncher at 160.
What has eluded Munguia and perhaps his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions was his LACK of power last night. O’Sullivan did show a great chin in the fight, but it was as clear as day that Munguia doesn’t have the same power at 160 as he did at 154. Further, Munguia was never a big one-punch guy at junior middleweight.
The top brass at Golden Boy Promotions are going to need to sit down, have a good cup of coffee and decide what they’re going to do with Munguia. Like Ryan Garcia, he’s got a following with a lot of young boxing fans that follow him. But after last night’s performance by Munguia, it begs the question whether he’s got the talent to be put in with elite level 160-pound fighters.
Is Munguia ready for the elite middleweights?
The question Golden Boy needs to answer is should they throw Munguia to the wolves for a CASH OUT fight immediately against GGG or Canelo or do they wait and see if he improves? Canelo vs. Munguia would make a lot of money in 2020 or 2021.
If the idea is to cash in on Munguia’s popularity before he gets destroyed by one of the contenders at 160, then Golden Boy should put him in with Canelo, Golovkin or the Charlo brothers as soon as possible. Frankly, it would be smarter to go the cash out route, because Munguia hasn’t improved enough to mix it with even some of the fringe level guys at 160.
It would be like putting Munguia into a minefield if Golden Boy chooses to continue to match him against fading middleweights like what we saw last night. If a fighter like O’Sullivan was able to give Munguia problems, what happens when he’s matched against a decent fringe level fighter?
Munguia wants the best at 160
It’s nice that Munguia defeated O’Sullivan last night, but he’s NOT a contender at 160. That might be surprising news to casual boxing fans, but it’s the reality. O’Sullivan is a 2nd tier fighter. In other words, he’s not a top 15 ranked fighter at middleweight. Against a good top 15 fringe level middleweight, it’s likely that Munguia would have come apart at the seams last night. That’s me being kind.
It’s hard to look at Munguia’s performance against O’Sullivan and think he would have any chance of beating an experienced cellar dweller middleweight like Tureano Johnson or Rob Brant. For that matter, Sergiy Derevyanchenko would have likely destroyed Munguia if he’d been in there with him.
Golden Boy will likely look at Munguia’s performance against O’Sullivan, and choose to put him in with a similar well known – but limited – B or C-level middleweight in his next fight. They’re not going to match Munguia against the elite level fighters that he wants to fight.
Munguia called out Canelo, GGG, and the Charlo brothers, but it was painfully obvious that he would be WIPED OUT against all of those fighters. Even off night, Canelo, Golovkin and the Charlo brothers would destroy Munguia.
Golden Boy will need to be careful matching Munguia
The shots that O’Sullivan was hitting Munguia were clean punches that were doing damage to him. The Irish fighter had Munguia badly hurt on one occasion, and he probably could have knocked him out if he’d gone after him.
Munguia will likely be matched against one of these fringe level middleweights next;
- Michael Zerafa
- Hugo Centeno Jr.
- Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
- Alantez Fox
- Immanuwel Aleem
- Brandon Adams
- Rob Brant
These are guys that Munguia SHOULD be able to beat if he’s worthy of being a top 10 contender at 160, but even against those guys, it’s not certain he’d win.
Munguia always won his fights with his high volume punching. When Munguia did knockout guys early, it was smaller fighters like Sadam Ali. That was a welterweight that had moved up recently to 154 to fight an over-the-hill Miguel Cotto.
Munguia did what any legit junior middleweight would do against the much smaller Sadam by stopping him early. After Munguia won the WBO 154lb title, he was matched against easy opposition without power in the following guys:
- Liam Smith
- Patrick Allotey
- Dennis Hogan
- Takeshi Inoue
- Brandon Cook
It was smart for Munguia to move up to 160 when Carlos Adames and Patrick Teixeira were pounding on his door looking for title shots against him. Munguia likely would have lost to both of those guys.
Jaime Munguia believes he’ll improve
“This was a new division for me,” said Munguia. “I felt stronger and with more conditioning, I just needed to adjust my speed to feel fully comfortable. And I would give my performance a 7 or 8…We will get there fight by fight. I was confused about whether to attack or not to attack. Sometimes I thought I had to attack, but I didn’t. On the last rounds, I was more attentive, even though I still got punched a few times,” said Munguia.
O’Sullivan was hitting Munguia more than a few times in the later rounds. He was catching Munguia with a lot of punches despite being exhausted and hurt. O’Sullivan was giving away a lot of size in the fight, and the match looked like a bout between a 154-lb vs. 160-lb fighter.
It didn’t look like a fair fight, but that was the point. This wasn’t ever supposed to be a fair fight. Munguia was making his debut at 160, and he was put in with a guy that the hardcore boxing fans in the U.S could recognize in O’Sullivan. However. it was supposed to be a piece of cake for Munguia to beat O’Sullivan, and the fact that it wasn’t is more than disturbing. Before O’Sullivan gassed out, he was fighting Munguia to a standstill in the first 6 rounds of the contest.