Jaime Munguia enjoys Canelo comparisons, predicts KO of Gary O’Sullivan
Jaime Munguia, the 23-year-old all action fighter from Tijuana, heard the criticism levied upon him when he narrowly defeated Dennis Hogan last year, escaping with a majority decision. This made him hungrier to improve and make adjustments. One of the key changes made by his team was bringing in Mexican icon and four-division titlist and Hall-of-Famer Erik Morales to replace Robert Alcazar as trainer. The second significant change will occur this Saturday when Munguia moves up to 160 pounds to battle Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas live on DAZN.
Munguia (34-0, 27 knockouts) successfully defended his WBO junior middleweight title five times after stopping Sadam Ali to become a world champion at 21 years old. It was obvious that Munguia was not long for the 154-pound weight class.
“This is the first time we went to camp without having to worry about cutting weight,” Munguia told The Ring through translator Gabriel Rivas of Golden Boy Promotions. “I feel good and strong now and my mind is clear. It’s a great decision we made to move up and everyone will see the best version of me on Saturday.”
Munguia admits he has not seen much of his 35-year-old opponent O’Sullivan (30-3, 21 KOs) but knows the Cork, Ireland native likes to stand in the ring and trade.
“I watched the Lemieux fight and although he lost, we know who he is and his style,” Munguia said. “I expect O’Sullivan will be at his best and I will definitely be at my best and you can expect me to knock him out.”
Munguia does not talk much about the differences between Morales and Alcazar but he believes he makes fewer mistakes in training now and is starting to see changes in his speed.
“I see myself advancing. I am getting better,” Munguia said. “The communication with Erik is great. He has a lot of confidence in me and keeps telling me with experience I will achieve everything we want to in boxing. I knew I was going to be stronger as a middleweight but I am surprised how quickly my speed has improved”
Munguia wants to win a world title at middleweight and he is not shy about asking for a shot at the next possible opportunity. Munguia was close to getting a crack at then-titlist Gennadiy Golovkin when the latter’s rematch with Canelo Alvarez was postponed and Golovkin was left without an opponent. However in April of 2018, Munguia was rejected by the Nevada State Athletic Commission as a late replacement. He has developed a reputation for not being a afraid to face anyone.
“First we need to make sure everything goes fine against O’Sullivan, then everyone can expect the same active Jaime Munguia who fights four times a year or more and we will win a world title this year.”
Munguia has long been compared to Alvarez for obvious reasons, which only intensified when Canelo opted to not fight last September on Mexican Independence Weekend, as is the norm. Munguia gladly filled in and knocked out Patrick Allotey in Carson, California.
“Canelo is one the best in the world so if people compare me to him, that means I must be doing something right,” Munguia admits. “I think that fight is inevitable but so is a fight with Golovkin or any champion who wants to test themselves.”
As Munguia continues to mature in and out of the ring, he reflects on the Hogan fight as a learning experience.
“It was not my best performance,” Munguia admits. “I don’t disagree I should have done better but what I am sure of, what I am 100% certain of, is that I won that fight.”
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