Jaime Munguia battles Dennis Hogan to controversial majority decision, keeps 154-pound belt
Jaime Munguia won a close 12-round majority decision over mandatory challenger Dennis Hogan Saturday night at the Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico.
Munguia (33-0, 26 KOs), a Tijuana native, retained his WBO 154-pound title with with a back-and-forth fight that was closer than what many expected going into the bout, which was streamed live on DAZN in the U.S.
It was Munguia’s first title fight in Mexico since winning the WBO title by knocking out Sadam Ali last May. Munguia was a huge favorite to defeat Hogan (28-2-1, 7 KOs), an Australia-based Irishman who entered the fight having won his previous six bouts since losing by decision to Jack Culcay in December 2012.
The taller Munguia was the aggressor from the opening bell, initiating exchanges. Munguia worked from the center of the ring as Hogan looked to counter from distance.
By the midway point of the fight, Hogan began to effectively counter Munguia to the head, connecting with several right hands and digging to the body as both fighters stood in the pocket.
Munguia’s punch output and energy diminished with each passing round during the second half of the fight. Hogan threw more punches and, while he may have missed several punches, was still the more accurate fighter, going into the championship rounds.
Sensing the fight was close, Munguia looked for a second wind, throwing everything he could during the 12th round. Both fighters swung at one another until the final bell sounded.
“I wanted to go for the knockout during the final round because I thought the fight was even at that point,” said Munguia after the fight. “I went for it during the final round. He would head-butt me during the fight. I wasn’t able to get into a rhythm.”
One judge scored the bout 114-114, while the other two judges scored the bout 116-112 and 115-113 for Munguia.
Munguia had expressed interest in moving up in weight and fighting the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. Those plans may be put on hold as Munguia might have unfinished business with Hogan, should the WBO order an immediate rematch.
That would be an option for Munguia, but so would an immediate move up to 160 pounds.
“It was difficult for me to make 154 pounds. I felt a little bit tired too. I’m going to have to speak with my team (co-promoters Golden Boy Promotions and Zanfer Promotions) about my next move.”
Hogan thought he did more than enough to win the fight.
“I knew I won the fight,” said Hogan. “We came here in good faith. This (decision) is bad for me. This is bad for boxing. I kept moving (around the ring). His power didn’t faze me because I was moving. He knew he was losing. He was frustrated. I knew I could take his shots. Of course, I’ll take a rematch.”
The 10-round bout between Diego De La Hoya and veteran Enrique Bernache was ruled a No-Decision after the bout was stopped due to a cut suffered by Bernache by an accidental clash of heads.
Saturday’s fight was supposed to be De La Hoya’s debut as a featherweight. It was also the first fight for De La Hoya in about 10 months.
De La Hoya was scheduled to fight in November in his hometown of Mexicali, Mexico, but had to withdraw from the fight a few days before the fight when he reportedly collapsed in an attempt to make weight.
A clash of heads during the second round opened a cut on the forehead of Bernache, producing a steady flow of blood from the cut. The fight was stopped at 2:25 after the ringside physician was consulted and deemed Bernache unfit to continue.
Junior middleweight contender Patrick Teixeira of Brazil won a hard-fought 10-round majority decision over Mario Lozano.
The taller Teixeira was the more-effective fighter, but Lozano (33-9, 24 KOs) closed the distance during the last three rounds, connecting with several hooks and crosses to the head.
One judge scored the bout 95-95, while the other two judges scored the bout 96-94 in favor of Teixeira, who has won his last four bouts and improves to 30-1, 22 KOs.
Teixeira is ranked No. 4 by the WBO.
Flyweight Arely Mucino (28-3-2, 10 KOs) of Monterrey dropped Yairineth Altuve (10-3, 10 KOs) twice before holding off a late rally by the Venezuela fighter to win by unanimous decision. Scores were 98-90, 98-90, and 97-91 for Mucino, who successfully defended her WBO title.
Lightweight Javier Gonzalez defeated late-sub Saul Gonzalez (3-2, 2 KOs) by unanimous decision over six rounds. All three judges scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Gonzalez, who improves to 15-0, 11 KOs.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing