WBO Jr. Middleweight champion Jaime Munguia made his return to the ring, taking on Australian challenger Dennis “Hurricane” Hogan live from Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico.
This was Munguia’s fourth defense of his Jr. Middleweight title and rumors around the boxing world suggest it could possibly be one of the last few before moving to Middleweight where the there are no shortage of opponents.
Munguia, still green in his boxing abilities for a champion, has looked to keep improving fight by fight under the tutelage of trainer Robert Alcazar.
The bout opened as expected with the champion stalking the Aussie and looking to find an opening for his vaunted right hand. Both fighters hesitated to throw any over committing shots and while Munguia pressed, Hogan did his best to fight on the outside and avoid the Mexican’s power.
Munguia, the 20-1 favorite, was expected to start early and land often against the fairly untested Hogan. Hogan back peddled and circled the ring much of the early rounds and Munguia chased the challenger–landing at times but certainly missing wide with looping shots.
Hogan found his mark throughout the night and made it a frustrating fight for the champion. For many of the shots that Munguia landed on Hogan, Hogan was prepared with a counter shot that snapped back Munguia’s skull.
Defense had never been a strong suit for Munguia, but as the rounds progressed it began to be a serious struggle for the young champ. Hogan proved to be very frustrating, round by round. Munguia continued to land big shots but Hogan landed many power shots of his own.
As the later rounds commenced Munguia and his corner began to feel the pressure and frustration as Munguia continued to lunge with shots and missing many wildly, while Hogan landed cleanly from the outside. The fight was up for grabs going into the final round with Hogan making a serious case for an upset in Mexico.
Both men let their hands go to close the fight with Munguia arguably closing the round stronger as the fight went to the judge’s hands.
Final scorecards read 114-114, 115-113, and 116-112 in favor of the champion Munguia. “I thought, in the end, it was close to a draw and I needed to close strong,” said Munguia. “I think I was frustrated and tired in the end. I think 154 is becoming difficult to make for me and it’s hurting my recovery.”
Munguia may have found a way to eke by Hogan this time around, but there’s no question many of Munguia’s weaknesses were exposed.
The challenger wasted no time disputing the loss in his post-fight interview.
“I knew I won the fight,” said Hogan. “I’m really disappointed to train as a hard as I did and for this to happen. We came here in good faith and no disrespect to the people who scored it but that decision shouldn’t go through. This is bad for boxing, bad for me, and a rematch is accepted right away, no questions asked.”
Without question, team Munguia will need to evaluate the best options moving forward but what seems to be the likely option is a move to Middleweight where names like Canelo Alvarez, Danny Jacobs, and Gennady Golovkin await.