By Allan Fox: Jaime Munguia wants a title shot against IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin in 2022, and he’s hoping it can happen soon. Munguia (38-0, 30 KOs) believes he’s ready to defeat Golovkin now, but he needs the opportunity.
Munguia will be headlining next month against little-known 2nd tier fighter D’Mitrius Ballard (21-0-1, 13 KOs) on DAZN on February 19th at the Plaza de Toros, Tijuana, Mexico. This is a big step down in class for Munguia from his last fight against fringe contender Gabe Rosado last November.
It’s unclear why DAZN gave Munguia the greenlight to headline against Ballard instead of insisting that he fight a quality opponent. It’s not a great fight for boxing fans and not one that will bring in subscribers. The top brass at DAZN should have insisted that Munguia fight one of these fighters:
- Zhanibek Alimkhanuly
- Juan Macias Montiel
- Chris Eubank Jr
With Canelo Alvarez fighting at 168, it’s caused a talent vacuum with the best fighters leaving the 160-lb division like rats fleeing a sinking ship. There’s an empty void left at 160 now that Canelo is gone, leaving flawed fighters like Munguia at the top of the ranking despite limited talent.
For Munguia to be headlining against Ballard instead of a quality opponent, that’s disappointing, to say the least.
Ballard recently had a controversial 12 round draw against Yamaguchi Falcao in 2019 in a fight that many boxing fans had him losing. In his only battle since, Ballard defeated journeyman Paul Valenzuela Jr by a 10 round decision last September.
Some boxing fans believe Munguia’s career is geared around him just looking for big money fights exclusively without any intention of trying to win a world title.
A handful of fighters are taking that approach to their careers now, and it’s sad because they end up waiting a long time for the money fights instead of attempting to get ranked high and fighting for world titles the way fighters traditionally do. It’s a weird approach.
With his dogged pursuit of the lucrative fight, the former WBO 154-lb champion Munguia (38-0, 30 KOs) veered away from a title shot against WBO 160-lb champion Demetrius Andrade, preferring instead to wait on the fight against Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs).
“They were the ones who first sought us out, but we were always interested in GGG, and we’re still interested,” said Munguia about Golovkin.
GGG was interested in fighting Munguia four years ago in 2018, but the match didn’t happen after a state commission blocked it. Munguia didn’t have the experience needed to take on Golovkin back then, and it would have been a terrible mismatch.
Since then, Munguia has beaten mostly fringe-level contenders like Dennis Hogan, Gary O’Sullivan, Kamil Szeremeta, Brandon Cook, Takeshi Inoue, and Tureano Johnson.
“If it were to happen, it would be a great fight, a shock fight, and the fight would be well accepted by the fans. We are determined to fight him,” said Munguia about a fight between him and Golovkin.
I don’t know if you could characterize a fight between Golovkin and Munguia as a “Great fight,” but it would be an upgrade to the poor opposition the two fighters have been consistently feasting on largely.
Golovkin hasn’t fought anyone good since his loss to Canelo Alvarez in 2018, and many boxing fans believe the Kazakh is just waiting for a cash-out trilogy match against the Mexican star.
It’s disappointing because Golovkin was one of the biggest stars in the U.S from 2012 to 2019, but he’s disappeared since his loss to Canelo and has fought just three times since against mediocre opposition.
Munguia will need to get the fight with GGG soon because he’s turning 40 in April, and he’s been idle waiting for a money-fight against WBA 160-lb champion Ryota Murata. The two were supposed to fight in December in Japan, but due to the travel ban, it’s now off the table.
Golovkin has rarely fought since his controversial 12 round decision loss to Canelo Alvarez in 2019. As a result, Golovkin has nothing to show for having sat inactive for all of 2021. In hindsight, Golovkin would have been better off defending his IBF belt rather than waiting on Murata.
If Golovkin can’t get the fight against Murata or Canelo, he’ll probably agree to face Munguia, but at this point, it may not be a good idea. Munguia will be a tough fight for the Golovkin.
What would have been an easy win for Golovkin two to three years ago over Munguia could prove to be a nightmare for him now due to his aging and inactivity.