By: Hans Themistode
If you take a look at the frame of former WBO Jr Middleweight title holder Jamie Munguia (34-0, 27 KOs) you would have a hard time believing that he can somehow squeeze down to the 154 pound division.
Not only does he stand at 6 feet tall, but he is also just 23 years of age. It’s safe to say that the Mexican born boxer isn’t done growing quite yet.
After winning the WBO title in 2018, Munguia had a lackluster title reign to say the least. He defeated Sadam Ali, a natural Welterweight, to win the belt. Outside of Liam Smith, Munguia has fought no one of note in the division. In his contest against Dennis Hogan earlier this year, Munguia was on the edge of defeat but somehow managed to slip away with the victory.
After a quick stoppage win over Patrick Allotey in his last ring appearance, it appears that Munguia is done killing his body just to hold on to his title.
It’ll be only eleven days into the 2020 calendar year before Munguia makes his debut at the Middleweight division. Forgoing his WBO Jr Middleweight title in the process.
The first man to introduce Munguia to his new division will be the shop worn Gary O’Sullivan (30-3, 21 KOs). The now 35 year old O’Sullivan has long been a serviceable fighter in a career that has spanned over a decade, but he has always fallen short when he has stepped up his level of opposition.
Losses to Billy Joe Saunders, Chris Eubank Jr and David Lemieux are nothing to be ashamed of. However, in two of those three losses, O’Sullivan was brutally knocked out. Still, with that being said, it is unknown whether or not Munguia is on the same level as those previously mentioned fighters.
His abilities as a fighter might still be in question, but his excitement for this contest is not. A move to a new division will allow him to capture gold in yet another weight class in the near future. Assuming he makes it past O’Sullivan.
“I feel very happy to be starting the year 2020 with a great fight at a great place like San Antonio, Texas,” said Munguia. “I have fought in Houston, Texas, before, where the people there treated me very well. I think that San Antonio won’t be any different. We’re going to deliver a great fight against a tough fighter in Gary O’Sullivan. He’s great, and he’s strong, but we’re going to come very well prepared. We plan to do an excellent job and make it very clear who is the best in the ring”
Following his brutal one punch knockout loss at the hands of David Lemieux in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2018, O’Sullivan has bounced back with two straight stoppage wins. Including a huge knockout victory over Khiary Gray earlier this year. With one more victory, especially over a well known name in Jamie Munguia, it could lead O’Sullivan to his first title shot.
“For me, it’s a dream come true to fight the undefeated champion of the world, and the number one ranked fighter in the world,” O’Sullivan said. “It makes it even better that he’s Mexican. I grew up watching the great Mexican champions, and to get the opportunity to fight Jaime is an honor. I will leave no stone unturned in my preparation for this fight. I can’t recall feeling more motivated by any other fight in my career thus far. I believe this fight will be a war that the fans will talk about for many years to come.”
Neither man can afford to lose this contest. Munguia can make a huge splash in his new division with a stoppage win while O’Sullivan simply can’t afford another high profile loss under his belt.
Munguia’s move to the Middleweight division was an abrupt one, but will be a sagacious decision? We’ll get our answer on January 11th, 2020.