Jaime Munguia-Takeshi Inoue set for January 26 in Houston
Jaime Munguia will defend his WBO junior middleweight title against Takeshi Inoue on Jan. 26, it was announced Saturday night.
The 12-round bout will take place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, and will be streamed live on DAZN.
Munguia, who is rated No. 4 by The Ring at 154 pounds, had a breakthrough year in 2018, dropping Sadam Ali four times en route to a fourth-round stoppage to win his world title. He has since made two successful defenses, against former titleholder Liam Smith and Brandon Cook.
At 22 years of age, Munguia has yet to reach his prime but has already mentioned unification fights and a possible move up to 160 pounds to face countryman Canelo Alvarez. For either one of those things to happen, the Tijuana native must defeat Inoue who is currently ranked No. 3 by the WBO.
Inoue (13-0-1, 7 KOs) last fought on Apr. 26, defeating Yuki Nonaka by unanimous decision. His other notable bout was an eight-round unanimous decision win over fringe-contender Akinori Watanabe in January of last year.
In the co-feature, Jesus Rojas of Puerto Rico will defend his WBA “regular” featherweight title against Can Xu.
Rojas (26-2-2, 19 KOs) lost a 12-round unanimous decision to ‘JoJo’ Diaz in his last bout on Aug. 11. However, as per WBA rules, Rojas kept his title because Diaz weighed in over the 126-pound limit.
Xu (15-2, 2 KOs), who is ranked No. 2 by the WBA, will be fighting for the second time outside of China. In his last bout on Sept. 13, Xu won an eight-round split decision over veteran Enrique Bernache in Las Vegas.
Xu’s most notable win was a seventh-round knockout win over former junior featherweight titleholder Nehomar Cermeno on Oct. 3 of last year.
*Editor’s Note: The Ring do not recognize the WBA “regular” title. Leo Santa Cruz is the WBA featherweight titleholder.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October 2013. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing
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