By Dan Ambrose: The scheduled main event fight on April 23 on DAZN between Jaime Munguia and D’Mitrius Ballard is now off due to the unbeaten Ballard (20-0-1, 13 KOs) suffering an injury during training camp.
According to Mike Coppinger, the former WBO junior middleweight champion Munguia (36-0, 29 KOs) will now be fighting on a different date against another opponent. It’ll be interesting to see who Golden Boy Promotions find for Munguia.
Given that they’ll want the trendy former WBO 154-lb knockout artist to fight in the main event on DAZN for the new date, they’ll need to find someone good enough to be approved by the streaming giant.
Gone are the days where Munguia could be matched up with obscure stiffs, with him making title defenses of his WBO title.
Options are not great for Munguia’s next fight
As far as Munguia’s next fight, there are not many good options for opponents in the middleweight division. The talented contenders at 160 are ranked in the top 5, and the guys rated 10 and below are sub-level fighters.
They’re not well known, and they won’t give Munguia much of a fight, which might not bother his promoters too much, but it would DAZN and the fans.
The best choices for Munguia’s next fight:
- Chris Eubank Jr
- Carlos Congora
- Kanat Islam
- Zhanibek Alimkhanuly
- Esquiva Falcao
- Magomed Madiev
- Israil Madrimov
- Sebastian Fundora
- Jarrett Hurd
- Erislandy Lara
- Erickson Lubin
If Munguia’s promoters were willing to match him against some of the top 154-pounders, he could have an excellent opponent. Unfortunately, that’s probably not going to happen.
Lara, Madrimov, and Hurd would be trouble for Munguia, and it’s unclear whether any of them would agree to come up to 160 to face him.
It’s bad news for the Golden Boy fighter Munguia lately with his previously scheduled opponent for the April 23rd date, Maciej Sulecki, pulling out of the fight with an injury.
Missing opportunity for Munguia
Munguia, 24, could have fought for a world title against WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade, but he chose not to take it. Jaime the top-ranked contender for the unbeaten Andrade, but some reason, he chose not to take the match.
Instead of Andrade taking on the well-known Munguia, he’s stuck facing lesser-known #2 WBO Liam Williams this Saturday night on April 17th in the headliner on DAZN.
Andrade isn’t pleased with Munguia choosing not to fight him, but it’s a good career move on Jaime’s part not to take that fight.
In Munguia’s two fights since removing up to middleweight against Tureano Johnson and Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan, he hasn’t shown the improvements needed for him to guarantee a favorable outcome against a talent like Andrade.
Although Munguia did display a new uppercut that he’s added to his arsenal in his last fight against Tureano, that wouldn’t likely be enough for him to beat a more polished fighter like Andrade.
Boxing fans would like to see Munguia take on IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin next, but that’s not going to happen.
There’s no way that GGG will take a fight against a dangerous puncher like #1 WBC, #1 WBO, #4 IBF, #6 WBA Munguia on short notice.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn had spoken many times of the possibility of Golovkin taking on Munguia next, but the fight couldn’t be made.
Ballard, 23, would have a good replacement for Sulecki as the opponent for Munguia.
The only drawback with using Ballard, other than him not being ranked in the top 15 by the four sanctioning bodies, is his inactivity. He hasn’t fought in a year and a half since his 10 round draw against Yamaguchi Falcao in December 2019.
Where is Jaime’s career heading?
Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya hasn’t revealed what direction he wants to take Munguia’s career.
Right now, Munguia doesn’t look ready to challenge for a world title against 160-lb champions Andrade, Golovkin, or Jermall Charlo.
One possibility would be for Golden Boy to have Munguia wait out Charlo, Andrade, and GGG until they either get old or leave the middleweight division.
That probably won’t work because younger middleweights will be coming up in the news few years that will give Munguia many problems.