Jaime Munguiais celebrating a positive step up…
The 23-year-old Mexican boxer and former WBO junior middleweight titlist made a successful debut at middleweight by defeating Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan with an 11th-round TKO at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Saturday night.
While he was able to dominate the late stage of the contest, there were certainly some rough moments for Munguia (35-0, 28 KOs), who, after a quick start in the opening two rounds, was clipped on the chin by a right hand from O’Sullivan that dazed him at the very end of the third.
It took a few rounds for Munguia to truly steady himself, but as he got back to establishing his long, quick jab and focusing more on throwing fast punches, instead of hard ones, the 23-year-old was able to regain full control of the bout. In the seventh round, a low blow sent O’Sullivan to the canvas, and Munguia was deducted a point by referee Mark Calo-oy. But that didn’t dissuade Munguia from consistently attacking the body and then mixing up his attack up top.
“I was confused whether to attack or not, but thanks to my corner, I think I did better at 160,” said Munguia. “I feel like I wore down less ’cause of the weight cut. I felt I threw more punches, more combinations, and it made the difference.”
Give credit to O’Sullivan: Although he was hurt in several rounds, he landed more than his share of punches on Munguia, who left more than a few openings with his hell-bent for leather style. O’Sullivan was staggered in the 10th, and then finally, as he was swarmed by the two-fisted attack of Munguia, he crumbled to the canvas just as the towel was being thrown in by his corner.
Munguia finished with a flourish, but he showed that he is still very much a work-in-progress under the direction of Hall of Famer Erik Morales, who has trained him for the past two fights. Their first outing together was back in September when he halted Patrick Alloteyin four rounds.
It seems as though Morales has made some progress with his young pupil. Yet, there is still plenty more to be learned.
When asked how he would assess his own performance, Munguia said, “I would give myself an eight or nine. I had to do some more things but will take this fight by fight.”