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Munguia rejects Janibek fight, wants Golovkin or Charlo next

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By Craig Daly: Jaime Munguia has made it clear that he’s not interested in using his #1 ranking with the WBO to challenge middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly for his title.

You can argue that no one expected Munguia to agree to a fight against Janibek (13-0, 8 KOs) because the chances of losing would be high. Once that happened, Munguia could forget about taking advantage of his undefeated record, which he’s slowly accumulated over his nine-year pro career.

Instead of facing the undefeated Janibek, Munguia (41-0, 33 KOs) wants to face IBF/WBA 160-lb champion Gennadiy Golovkin or WBC belt holder Jermall Charlo in early 2023.

Whether Munguia gets either of those fights is the big question. If Munguia’s promoters at Golden Boy haven’t been able to set up fights with Golovkin or Jermall for Munguia in the last three years, it’s hard to know what will change in 2023.

“I think that the best opportunity and the fight that the public would see best would be against a GGG or a Charlo,” said Munguia to ESPN. “I am looking for them, and hopefully, they can be done.

“I promise you my first fight next year will be a great fight, whether it’s for a world title or with a big name,” continued Munguia. “We long for 2023 full of opportunities, and that is what we are going to look for,” said Munguia.

 

 

The ideal scenario for Munguia and his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions would be for Canelo Alvarez to agree to fight him in a massive life-changing money fight.

That’s not going to happen, though, with Canelo choosing not to fight Mexican fighters, and even if he were still fighting them, he might not want to help out his old promoters at Golden Boy by fighting Munguia.

With the 40-year-old Golovkin expected to retire soon and Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) likely to move up to 168 next year or get stripped due to his 17 months of inactivity since his last title defense for his WBC belt, Munguia has got a good chance of picking up a vacant belt next year.

That’s not what Munguia wants because he won’t get a big payday fighting one of the non-popular contenders for a vacant bel at 160. The fights where Munguia can make a lot of money and perhaps a cash-out are against Charlo or Golovkin.

Jermall hasn’t exactly been a risk-taker since he picked up his WBC middleweight belt in 2019, so it’s questionable whether he’ll agree to a fight with Munguia next year.

As for Golovkin, he lost his last fight against Canelo Alvarez and looks terrible in that fight.

If Golovkin had fought Munguia years ago, it would have likely been a one or two-round obliteration win for GGG, but with him being old now, he could lose. At this point in his career, Golovkin is vulnerable against almost any contender in the top 15 at 160.

It’s not that Munguia is a great fighter because he clearly isn’t. Golovkin is just old and ready to be picked off by almost anyone.

Munguia, 26, has been fighting at 160 for the last three years since moving up in weight from 154 in 2019, and he’s already passed up a title shot against former WBO middleweight champion Demetrius ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade as well as a battle against Janibek when he held the interim 160-lb title with that sanctioning body.

Munguia was heavily criticized for his recent headliner against little-known second-tier fighter Gonzalo Gaston Coria on DAZN last month. He destroyed Coria in three rounds, and it was a poor match-up that, surprisingly, DAZN had as their main event.

With Munguia passing up on the title shot against Janibek, the WBO will need to work down the rankings with their organization one by one to find a contender willing to face the unbeaten 160-lb champion.

Options for Janibek’s next fight:

2. Chris Eubank Jr.
3. Meirim Nursultanov
4. Felix Cash

 

 




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