By: Sean Crose
“Anyone whose a world champion,” Jaime Munguia told me late in 2019, “I’d like to face him.” Munguia, who was a few days away from facing Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan at the time, was referring to the current crop of middleweight world titlists. Now, closing in on three years later, Munguia has yet to face a world title holder. He’s fought six opponents since we spoke, and has successfully bested all six. Still, the man has yet to face a major name. O’Sullivan and Gabe Rosado are undoubtedly quality fighters, but more was expected of Munguia.
Needless to say, critics of the 26 year old Munguia aren’t pleased with the level of competition Munguia is set to face Saturday night in Guadalajara. As Forbes puts it, Munguia is “fighting an opponent in Gonzalo Coria that hardly anybody has ever heard of and, presumably, has next to no chance to pull off the upset.” This is most distinctly not the kind of statement Munguia can possibly want written about him in a major publication. Yet pure boxing publications – and their respective journalists – are expressing their displeasure with the current state of Munguia’s career, as well. Suffice to say, the man has good reason to perform exceptionally this weekend.
At 40-0 there’s no doubt that Munguia has had an impressive career no matter how one wishes to perceive it. All but 8 of his fights have ended within the distance. What’s more, Munguia has been a world titlist, winning the WBO junior middleweight strap off Sadam Ali in 2018 before successfully defending the belt a total of five times against the likes of Liam Smith and Takeshi Inoue, both fighters of note. Still the Mexican native’s list of recent opponents have disappointed those who were expecting to see the power puncher engaging in high level contests at this point.
As for Coria – this is clearly the opportunity of a lifetime for the unknown fighter. Boasting a record of 21-5, the 25 year old Argentine isn’t a top contender, though he’s won his last three in a row. Should he emerge victorious this evening in Mexico, the man would surely become the talk of the fight world, having given the boxing public the upset of the year. Defeating Munguia will be a tall order, however, especially for someone who has never faced such a level of competition before. Still, boxing being boxing, one never does know.
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