Tuesday, October 03, 2023  |


Jaime Munguia expects strong test from D’Mitrius Ballard, calls out Gennadiy Golovkin

Munguia (left) en route to outpointing Gabriel Rosado. Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions
Fighters Network

Mexican star Jaime Munguia squares off against D’Mitrius Ballard in a clash of unbeaten middleweights at the outdoor Plaza Monumental in Munguia’s hometown of Tijuana on Saturday. The 12-round bout will headline a four-bout telecast that will stream live on DAZN (8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT).

Munguia, who is rated No. 4 by The Ring at 160 pounds, is coming off an impressive unanimous decision victory over Gabriel Rosado, on November 13, in Anaheim, California. The 25-year-old pressure-fighter held off a formidable challenge from Rosado, who had scored a knockout win over Bektemir Melikuziev earlier in the year.

Ballard has nothing to lose and everything to gain should he pull off the upset win. The 28-year-old from Temple Hills, Maryland, is coming off a 10-round unanimous decision over Mexico’s Paul Valenzuela, which also took place on the aforementioned November 13 card.

“I think Ballard will come to fight,” Munguia told The Ring. “He is a hungry fighter that wants what I have. I know he will be prepared, but I expect him to box. We are prepared for that. If he wants to come forward, we are prepared for that too. I think we had a great training camp and we have prepared to dictate the pace of the fight.”

It has been almost five years since Munguia last fought in his hometown. On the night of July 7, 2017, he battered journeyman Jose Lopez Medina before knocking him out in three rounds. A lot has changed for Munguia since then. The following year, he would win a world title belt at 154 pounds by knocking out Sadam Ali, and he is now a legitimate middleweight contender.

“I am so excited and honored to be back in Tijuana,” said Munguia, who is co-promoted by Golden Boy and Zanfer Promotions. “I remember growing up and watching fights at the Plaza de Toros and hoping that one day I would headline the venue. Now that it’s here, it’s a great honor to represent the people of Tijuana, to represent Mexico. This event motivated me to train harder. I want to show the public that supported me and made me the athlete that I am today a great fight.”

Jaime Munguia (second from left) celebrates his KO of Patrick Allotey with new trainer Erik Morales. Photo by Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos / Golden Boy Promotions

Jaime Munguia (second from left) celebrates his KO of Patrick Allotey with new trainer Erik Morales. Photo by Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos / Golden Boy Promotions

Munguia will share that honor with Erik Morales, who has trained him over the last several fights. Morales’ influence has had a significant impact on Munguia, both in preparation for and during a fight. Whether it is utilizing his reach or knowing when to throw the correct combinations, Munguia believes he has become a better overall fighter thanks to Morales’ guidance and instructions in the gym.

“We make a great team,” said Munguia. “He has taught me how to throw more combinations, use my jab more, and understand how to use my distance. I feel like I have always known these things, but he has brought it out of me, [especially] how to apply them in a fight. I think mostly he has taught me to be more patient and think more critically while in the ring.”

Munguia is favored to defeat Ballard and a win should set up much bigger game. He is currently mandatory challenger for the WBC and WBO titles held by Jermall Charlo and Demetrius Andrade, respectively. And Munguia has also been mentioned as a possible opponent for Gennadiy Golovkin, who holds the IBF crown.

“I will fight anyone they put in front of me,” Munguia stated. “Golovkin would be a great opportunity. I think it is the biggest fight I can make for this point in my career. But I will take on any of the champions.”


Francisco A. Salazar can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing