Canelo Alvarez

Jaime Munguia Debuts Triumphantly at 160: Who’s Next?

Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy

Over two years ago, Jaime Munguia put the world on notice with his obliteration of Junior Middleweight titleholder, Sadam Ali in a short-notice title bout. 

Since then, Munguia has remained active and unbeaten. However, questions with his defense and gas in some underwhelming performances have periodically halted some of the hype surrounding the 22 year old, with his bout against Dennis Hogan being most concerning. 

On Saturday, January 11, 2020, Munguia displayed improved technique and combination punching against an outmatched Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan in San Antonio, TX.

In the early rounds, it figured to be a short nights work for the young fighter from Tijuana. To O’Sullivan’s credit, he was able to absorb several shots and stuck around to make a worthwhile bout, even if it was fairly one sided. 

Over several moments in the fight, Munguia showed improved defensive technique and diversified offense, which included a display of combination punching to both the body and the head.

Munguia still showed issues with transitioning from offense to defense, which was highlighted at the end of the third round where it appeared that O’Sullivan had momentarily stunned the 23 year old with a shot that landed in between Munguia’s punches. 

Maybe most notable was Munguia’s ability to have a sustained attack for the full 11 rounds that the bout lasted. Munguia strung together multiple combinations in the championship rounds, effectively landed jabs and straight right hands that finally culminated in O’Sullivan hitting the canvas moments after his corner tossed a conceding towel into the ring. 

Munguia looked to be a fresher fighter in the later rounds than he has in the past. A strong portion of that could be credited to his not having to lose the extra weight to get to 154 during the days leading to the bout. With this performance, many pundits once again are licking their chops about his potential. 

Now only 23 years old, what’s next for Jaime Munguia?

The former champion has moved up to 160, a weight class which acts as host to some of the world’s top fighters.

Here are five potential matchups to be made for the young Mexican.

5. Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade

The 31-year-old Rhode Island native will look to defend his belt later this month in Miami.

Jaime Munguia figures to be watching closely at what the champion does. DAZN is host to both fighters, so a bout seems as though it would be relatively easy to make between Golden Boy and Matchroom Boxing

On paper, the style matchup is an interesting one, with Munguia being a combination pressure fighter, and Andrade being an outside fighting counterpuncher.

Each fighter would have incentive to make the fight happen. For Andrade, Munguia could bring in more attention and provide a name and a challenge as a title defense. For Munguia, Andrade would offer him a shot at a 160 pound world title.  

4. Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs

Like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Jaime Munguia could bring in a large crowd in the Southern part of the United States for Jacobs. Unlike Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., he would provide a hungry fighter who would be ready to put up a fight and put on a show. 

A potential Jacobs-Munguia matchup would be dependant on a couple of things. Jacobs’ last fight was at 168, so it would take the right type of opportunity for him to want to move back down.

Additionally, each fighter has expressed their desire to fight for a belt, and being that neither currently hold a belt, it would be a reasonable fight to take place for an interim or vacant title (if that situation arose).

However, if the business was good enough, it is a bout that could feasibly be made, especially considering that Jacobs is also housed by DAZN via his promoter–Matchroom Boxing. 

3. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin

This is a bout that was reported to have been made in April of 2018 following Canelo Alvarez’s removal of the first scheduled rematch. The commission ruled that Jaime Munguia would not be granted the ability to fight, being that he was too inexperienced. 

In hindsight, a bout between GGG and Munguia would have been much more interesting and competitive than the bout against Vanes Martirosyan.

Luckily, there is still time to make the fight. 

The first fight would have likely seen GGG defeat the much younger Munguia, but with Munguia’s newfound championship experience, a bout between the two would likely be fireworks.  

An elder statesman in GGG would look to defend his IBF and IBO titles against a young hungry fighter in Jaime Munguia in a storyline as old as boxing. 

2. Jermall “Hitman” Charlo

A fight between Jermall Charlo and Jaime Munguia would be a mutually beneficial matchup to make for both fighters.

Many view Charlo as not having fought much competition since getting to Middleweight and a win over Munguia would give him a respected fighter on his record, and potentially work towards him getting a fight with Canelo Alvarez. 

For Munguia, Charlo would provide him an elite champion to test himself against. A win over Charlo would catapult Munguia to the top of the Middleweight landscape. 

Unfortunately, the likelihood of Al Haymon and Oscar De La Hoya coming together to make this bout happen is slim. 

1. Canelo Alvarez

Of all the fights to make, business wise, this might be it. An all-Mexican Cinco de Mayo weekend bout between Canelo Alvarez and Jaime Munguia would provide a hefty payday for all of those involved. 

The bout would also garner a good amount of public attention, as any Canelo bout does, which could help Munguia break into the American mainstream. The opportunity for Munguia would be similar to Alvarez’s bout against Floyd Mayweather in 2013. 

Any fighter that has a chance at Canelo has a chance to change their life. A win, or even a strong performance for Munguia, could result in Munguia becoming a global star himself.

Additionally, a high-level bout against arguably the world’s best fighter would at the very least provide an invaluable experience for the former champion. 

Canelo Alvarez, on the other hand, regularly expresses his desire to challenge himself. A strong, powerful and fast undefeated Mexican fighter that excites viewers might be exactly the type of fighter that Canelo wishes to test himself against. 

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