By George Goddiess: Jaime Munguia got his hand raised in his second fight at middleweight but was pushed all the way by a very game and aggressive Tureano Johnson.
Johnson oozed confidence in the prefight talk leading up to the fight stating on their Zoom face to face earlier this week, “this fight is tailor-made for me” and “I picked this fight.” Jaime Munguia promised at the new weight class he will be stronger and carry more power.
Tonight he was overwhelmed in the opening round when the thirty-six-year-old Bahamian-born Johnson rushed out of the corner in a southpaw stance and got right in his chest. Johnson began unloading with left hands and right hooks. Johnson quickly moved to orthodox and brought his overhand right over the top, and Munguia was struggling to settle in as the first round came to a close. It was tough to tell if the veteran fighter could overwhelm the young and developing Munguia.
One of the knocks on Munguia has been that he got by on his size and overwhelmed his opposition at junior middleweight during his WBO title run. After his controversial win over Dennis Hogan back in 2019, many were quick to write Munguia off. Munguia has adjusted since by changing trainers and hiring the legend Erik Morales and by moving up to 160 lbs.
Johnson pressed right inside on Munguia throughout the bout and landed very easily at times, especially in the first round. Jaime is very susceptible to overhand rights and short punches on the inside. In fact, it seems like it’s a good place to be for an opponent as it takes away a lot of his combination punching ability. However, the fight-ending uppercut that landed in the sixth round should serve as a deterrent for future opponents who try to mug him inside.
I think this fight, if anything, will have enlivened the top fighters at middleweight to rush to try and fight him as he is young at just twenty-four years of age, still growing at the weight class, and only three fights in with Morales and obviously still learning. Tonight he was also tagged to the head repeatedly and had his mouth wide open as early as the third round.
Munguia did display some very impressive offensive spurts in this fight. After a very rocky opening round, Munguia began to create space in the second round and dig in with his uppercut, the punch that would ultimately win the fight for him.
Munguia also intelligently tied Johnson up more in this round, and it is the first time I remember him really having to hold on in his career. At times he looked very uncomfortable and bent way over at the waist when he was hit inside, but it seemed like he was able to ride the shots and take some of the steam off of them.
Munguia started to make more adjustments in the third round as he began to try and open up with his jab. At times he hung back and tried to time Johnson, who at that point was recklessly falling in trying to lean and wear down his younger foe.
Johnson came on strong in the fourth and fifth rounds as he continued to press the issue and switch stances effectively. Johnson’s left eye began showing the effects of a brutal, close-quarters fight when a sharp uppercut landed and ripped Johnson’s lip open.
On replay, you could clearly see the chunk of lip fly off his face and blood spurt out. Raul Caiz Sr. called a time out, and the ringside physician allowed Johnson to finish the round, but with only twenty or so second to go, it seemed hopeless that he could land a bomb to dig himself out.
Munguia, with great situational awareness, attacked aggressively in the closing seconds and connected on a big right hand at the bell, possibly late to close the show. In between rounds, the fight was called off and declared a technical knockout at 3:00 of the sixth round.
The victory positions Munguia for a title shot with WBO Champion Demetrius Andrade, who also fights on DAZN. The 36-0 Mungia versus the 29-0 Andrade should be a very easy fight to market, and given they fight on the same platform; there is one major roadblock already cast aside.
At thirty-two years old and a two-weight WBO Champion, Andrade is still searching for a career-defining victory. Munguia entered tonight as the number one contender in the WBO’s rankings and will likely find himself in a mandatory position for the title. With Munguia still developing and showing defensive liabilities, it seems likely that Andrade will try and force this fight sooner than later. This is a great style clash of opposites and seems very feasible for the near future.
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