Jaime Munguia Set to Return Against Takeshi Inoue
By: Hector Franco
The return of one of 2018’s breakout stars will take place this weekend when Mexico’s Jaime Munguia (31-0, 26 KOs) attempts to make the third successful title defense of his WBO super welterweight championship against Japan’s Takeshi Inoue (13-0, 7 KOs).
Munguia was first heard of by a majority of boxing fans last year as a potential opponent for former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Golovkin ended up facing Vanes Martirosyan instead when the Nevada Athletic Commission did not approve Munguia due to his young age and lack of experience of fighting in the middleweight division.
It may have been a blessing in disguise for the 22-year old Munguia as he instead went on to face Brooklyn’s Sadam Ali for the WBO super welterweight title. The Brooklyn, New York native, was coming off of the most significant victory of his career in defeating future Hall-of-Famer Miguel Cotto by decision in Madison Square Garden. Munguia was not intimidated by Ali and made quick work of him scoring two knockdowns in the first round and two more in rounds two and four en route to a dominating fourth-round stoppage.
After the bout with Ali, Munguia made a quick return in July 2018 when he faced former super welterweight champion, Liam Smith. Once again Munguia dominated his opponent dropping him in the sixth round to win a clear unanimous decision victory. Against Smith, the young Mexican showed that not only does he pack a punch, but has the ability to go a full twelve rounds.
Following the fight with Smith, Munguia faced Brandon Cook on the undercard of Golovkin’s rematch with Saul Alvarez in September 2018. The fight only lasted three rounds with Munguia proving his superiority from the sound of the first bell.
Munguia’s opponent on Saturday is undefeated and seven years his senior. Inoue will be fighting for the first time in the United States and only his second fight outside of his native Japan. He is relatively unknown outside of Japan making him a mystery for many boxing fans. The odds are heavily against Inoue to defeat Munguia; however, bigger upsets have taken place in the sport. Japan has seen a recent influx of great fighters such as bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue, flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka and super featherweight champion Masayuki Ito. Against Munguia, Inoue will look to place himself on the list of the latest set of Japanese world champions.
Munguia will look to add another title defense to his ledger. Unfortunately for Munguia, he may be on the wrong side of the fence in his division with the majority of the champions falling under the Premier Boxing banner. The young Mexican’s goal is to one day step in the ring with Canelo Alvarez. Should he continue winning, it is a possibility that the fight can take place in the near future. The two men are both promoted by Golden Boy Promotions.
The broadcast’s co-main event will feature “regular” WBA featherweight champion Jesus Rojas (26-2-2, 19 KOs) taking on China’s Can “Monster” Xu (15-2, 2 KOs). Rojas is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Joseph Diaz. Rojas was able to keep his title per WBA rules due to Diaz not making the featherweight weight limit of 126 pounds.
The Puerto Rican won the title against the Dominican Republic’s Claudio Marrero scoring a seventh-round knockout in Las Vegas the day before the first encounter between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
Rojas’ opponent is also unknown in the United States having fought a vast majority of his fights in China. Xu will be making his second appearance in the U.S. and holds some physical advantages over Rojas. Xu is 24 years of age making him eight years younger than the Puerto Rican (32). The Chinese fighter also has the edge in height and reach. It has been shown that Rojas can be outboxed. With just two knockouts in 17 professional bouts, it is likely going to be the game plan for Xu to use lateral movement to offset any of Rojas’ oncoming attacks.
On paper, the card in Houston looks to be one to showcase two world champions who will go on to bigger and better things. However, boxing matches are not fought on paper they are fought in the ring.
The card will begin at 5 pm ET on Saturday, January 26, 2019, on the DAZN streaming app.
HBO Boxing Results: Jaime Munguia & Alberto Machado Retain Titles
By: Ken Hissner
Don King Productions, Queensbury Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Banner Promotions over USA HBO presented two world title fights Saturday night, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV.
WBO World Super Welterweight champion Jaime Munguia, 30-0 (25), of Tijuana, MEX, retained his title with a hard fought but decisive decision over game Liam “Beefy” Smith, 26-2-1 (14), Liverpool, UK, over 12 scheduled rounds.
Photo Credit HBO Boxing Twitter Account
In the first round Munguia is looking for a early knockout but Smith is throwing back. Smith coming from a family of four boxing brothers landed a good right to the chin of Munguia driving him back several steps in what was a close round. Smith was checking his own face at the bell as if he was cut but he wasn’t.
In the second round Smith hands held high took a hard right to the body but came back with a hard right of his own to the head of Munguia. Referee Russell Mora warned Munguia to keep his punches up. Smith landed a good counter right to the head of Munguia. Munguia is getting a lot of credit for one fight stopping Sadam Ali for the title.
In the third round both fighters are throwing bombs. Munguia had a mouse under his left eye already. Smith landed a long lead right to the head of Munguia. After the bell Munguia threw a right that fortunately missed the head of Smith. In the fourth round Munguia landed a solid left hook to the chin of Smith. Munguia is landing body shots and being countered by Smith’s right hands. Smith landed a good left hook to the chin and followed up seconds later with a right hand to the chin of Munguia. Munguia pushed Smith into a corner landing three punches before the bell and one after without warning from referee Mora.
In the fifth round Munguia landed a double left to the body and head of Smith. Smith is smiling though taking punishment to the body. Munguia landed a left hook to the body of Smith who countered with a solid right to the chin of Munguia.
In the sixth round Munguia landed a vicious right hand body shot on Smith who in smiling usually means it hurt. Munguia landed a hard left hook to the head of Smith. Munguia landed a left hook to the chin of Smith dropping him to the canvas. Smith may be limping from hurting an ankle when knocked down. Munguia again got away with a punch after the bell. Referee Mora simply grabbed Munguia and walked him back to his corner.
In the seventh round Munguia is throwing wildly trying to knockout Smith. Munguia is landing too many punches especially to the body for Smith to continue to take. In the eighth round the raw power of Munguia is starting to take a toll on Smith. The taller Munguia has been easy to hit with a Smith right hand after a miss by Munguia. Referee Mora warned Munguia for using his elbow. Both fighters went down to the canvas with Smith on top just prior to the bell.
In the ninth round Munguia landed a dozen unanswered punches without return. Smith tries to block those left hooks to the body with his elbow. Both fighters looked fatigued. Munguia continues to look for a knockout but Smith hangs in and fights back. Between rounds the referee warns Munguia to keep his punches up.
In the tenth round Munguia landed a left hook but got countered by a Smith right to the head. Once again referee Mora warned Munguia for hitting Smith on the hip but failed to take a point away.
Munguia is all offense and fortunate to be in with an opponent that cannot match punch for punch. Once again at the bell Munguia tries to land a punch but had it blocked by referee Mora who stepped between the fighters.
In the eleventh round Smith landed an overhand lead right to the head of Munguia. Inside Smith landed a chopping right to the head of Munguia. Munguia landed four left hooks to the body of Smith. Munguia landed a left hook to the head while Smith countered with a combination to the head of Munguia.
In the twelfth and final round Munguia coming out has a disappointing look like “what’s keeping this guy up?” Smith is determined to go the distance and is slipping half the punches but getting hit with the other half to the head. Munguia lands two to one but Smith never gives up fighting back. Smith got in the last punch a right to the chin of Munguia.
Judges scores were 116-111, 119-110, 119-108 and this writer’s 120-106. Both champions got a big build up prior to their fight for their punching power but neither scored knockouts.
WBA World Super Featherweight champion southpaw Alberto “El Explosivo” Machado, 20-0 (16), of San Juan, PR, won a lopsided mismatch over gutsy southpaw Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah, 31-1 (23), of Accra, GH, over 12 rounds.
In the first round in a fight with two southpaws it’s a feeling out boxing match early in the round. Machado halfway through the round has had his way standing in front of Mensah until he delivered a right hook to the chin knocking Mensah down with less than fifteen seconds left in the round. The Ghana fighters are known to fight a bunch of stiffs from their own country in order to build up their records.
In the second round Machado is looking for the knockout but Mensah is not daring to mix it up with the stronger puncher Machado. In the third round Machado continues to stalk Mensah who walked in the ring with his new promoter Don King. While Machado is trained by Freddie Roach and it shows. Mensah has never been in with a puncher like Machado and he is not throwing much in return.
In the fourth round Machado continues landing right hooks to the body but in close he was warned by referee Tony Weeks for grabbing him from the back of the neck and leaning on him. Machado had Mensah out on his feet after slipping a jab and landing a solid left to the chin of Mensah in what is turning out to be a mismatch as he was saved by the bell. In the fifth round Mensah’s got much swelling on the left side of his face which could possibly be a broken jaw. The fight should be stopped but Weeks is allowing it to go on and Mensah’s corner would obviously not stop their fighter from taking a beating. After taking a solid left to the side of his right cheek bone Mensah is looking to his corner looking to stop the fight. Why a ring physician didn’t check out Mensah’s jaw is unbelievable. Where is the commissioner?
In the sixth round Mensah is hanging in there but has no chance to hurt Machado who is using him for target practice. One of the corner men of Mensah motioned to the ring physician pointing to the jaw of Mensah and the ring physician never moved. In the seventh round Machado continued to onslaught but not trying to knock him out for some reason. The ring physician finally did his job checking Mensah.
In the eighth round Mensah landed his first combination that had little on it. Machado continues landing punches. Since Mensah never got paid for his first thirty fights in Ghana why he hooked up with King makes one wonder but he should get some of his purse being in Nevada. Mensah has thrown more punches in this round than at any time but far from enough to win a round. The trainer Stacy McKinney is pushing Mensah to keep throwing punches. Since being one of King’s favorite trainers one can see why the trainer will not stop the fight.
In the ninth round Machado keeps landing right uppercuts to the body and right hooks to the swollen head of Mensah. One has to wonder how good a puncher Machado is that Mensah has lasted this long in the fight. Machado landed a straight left to the head of Mensah driving him into the ropes. On top of the mismatch Machado lands a right hook after the bell without warning from referee Weeks. In the tenth round Machado drives Mensah into the ropes snapping the head of Mensah with left hands. Mensah’s eleven year old daughter had passed away a month ago and his mind cannot be completely on the fight. His face is swollen on both sides.
In the eleventh round Machado lands punches and continues when inside pushing the back of the head down when Mensah leans in low. Referee Weeks has stopped warning Machado of the infraction. Is Machado allowing Mensah to go the distance?
In the twelfth and final round of a fight Machado had won every round as the one sided fight continued that way. One wonders if Machado has the killer instinct or not. Machado pushed Mensah back without a warning and then landed a low punch and got warned. Once again Machado got warned for pushing down the neck of Mensah. Was it another black eye for boxing? The fan’s showed their dislike during the last round that there was no stoppage.
All 3 judges had it 120-107 and this writer 120-106.
Middleweight southpaw Yamaguchi Falcao, 16-0 (7), of Sao Paulo, BRZ, defeated Elias “Latin Kid” Espadas, 17-4 (12), of Yucatan, MEX, in a 10.
Super Bantamweight Carlos “Purin” Caraballo, 8-0 (8), of Ponce, PR, forced Jesus Martinez, 24-4 (12), of Monteria, COL, not to come out for the fifth in an 8.
Philadelphia born welterweight Blair “The Flair” Cobbs, 9-0-1 (6), of Las Vegas, NV, stopped Emmanuel “Pollo” Valadez, 5-5 (5), of Sonora, MEX, at 1:52 of the second round in a 6.