Jaime Munguia, Gabriel Rosado both expect a Fight of the Year brawl
Listening to Jaime Munguia and Gabriel Rosado discussing their upcoming November 13 at Anaheim’s Honda Center (DAZN) bout leads us to one simple conclusion.
These guys know something we don’t.
The unsuspecting casual fan would see a young unbeaten Mexican warrior taking one final test in a new division before going for another world title. The not-so casual fan knows that the tried-and-tested ultimate Philly fighter in the other corner will give the young lion a run for his money – and then some. But a small minority believes that this one has the potential of being a terrific action fight, at the very least – and a potential FOTY candidate in the best-case scenario.
“With the statement that I made in the last fight (against Bektemir Melikuziev), I think that will be the knockout of the year. And that makes me excited about the Munguia fight”, said Rosado (26-13-1, 15 knockouts) in a recent virtual press conference hosted by boxing commentator Beto Duran. “This guy was an Olympian, had like 290 knockouts as an amateur, he was crushing his opponents in the pros, big and strong, powerful guy, you know? And that was a statement. And Munguia could have chosen to do a mandatory (bout), but you got to respect a guy that says ‘no, I want Rosado.’ He is willing to give the fans what they want, and that’s what makes this fight special.”
“(Rosado) is a good challenge,” said Munguia (37-0, 30 KOs), agreeing with his foe. “The truth is that I have always seen he’s fought against great opponents, and a fight against him captured our interest, and this is going to be a great fight for the audience and for me.”
It’s hard to envision a fighter picking out an opponent after watching him demolish a solid foe like Melikuziev in frightening fashion, and that’s what makes this fight so intriguing. Munguia has chosen his opponents wisely throughout his career, and seeing him take on an upset-minded boxer-puncher on a streak is commendable, to say the least.
Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez believes it’s time for him to finally earn his stripes the hard way.
“It’s the fight that Munguia needs to establish himself in this division,” said the executive. “Rosado has been around, he’s got great experience, he’s like the keeper at the gate in the middleweight and super middleweight divisions. And this is a great example of records really not meaning anything, because he’s always dangerous. If Munguia can get past him he can establish himself as one of the top players in the division. The sky is the limit (for Munguia), but he needs these kinds of fights so he can prove that he belongs.”
Gomez also highlighted the growth that both fighters have displayed in their careers.
“(Rosado) is as dangerous as they come. He’s much more mature now. His discipline is better, his motivation is better, he has a family now. He is always in the gym, and those are the guys that are dangerous: the guys who are always ready to fight,” said Gomez, a former matchmaker for the company, about Rosado, while he said that in Munguia “you can see the progression in him. He is learning from one of the great ones, (former champion, now trainer) Erik Morales. You can’t buy that experience, to have someone like that in your corner. It’s been great for him. Having a guy like Morales with him is a huge plus.”
The synergy of two great Tijuana fighters working together aiming for another world title belt for their trophy cases is what Munguia needs if he really wants to overcome such a difficult challenge.
“We’re working on distance, on keeping my hands up. Rosado has a great straight right hand, so we want to be ready for him. So we’re working hard in the distance, speed, moving our waist. I won my title at 21 years of age, and in the past few years I’ve improved a lot in my experience and my boxing skills. We are ready for the big challenges. After Rosado, they’ve mentioned fights against (Sergei) Derevyanchenko, or (Daniel) Jacobs, or (IBF titlist Gennady) Golovkin.
“I believe it’s going to be a great environment. It’s going to be a war, with a lot of punches. Mexico and Puerto Rico always produce great fights, and the truth is that I see a very motivated Rosado getting ready to give me a great fight, so we’re going to leave everything in the ring and we’re going to give a great show.”
Rosado was not as forthcoming regarding his training, but he was clear about his readiness.
“I am not going to give out my game plan, but I am going to do a little bit of everything. I am going to bang, I am going to move, I am going to box, and I am going to win but not just on the scorecards, I want to get a knockout. I think this is the kind of fights where you have to live up to the expectations, you know? You gotta be 100 percent, because this goes into the history books, they will be talking about 20 or 30 years from now,” said the fighter, before highlighting the changes he has made in his career and his personal life.
“I think that since the last couple of fights you’ve seen an improved Gabriel Rosado. I’ve been putting in the work, and it’s like you said… my record is deceiving. A lot of times I went into fights knowing that the other guy was the favorite, but the fight that should have gone my way and it didn’t. And it happened in the (Daniel) Jacobs fights, when everybody thought I clearly outboxed him. But the beauty is that all the fans get to see it. And the fans, at the end of the day, you can’t fool the fans.”