Gonzalo Coria vows to leave everything in the ring against Munguia
The trip to Guadalajara will not be the first time that Argentine fringe contender Gonzalo Coria gets on a plane to accept a challenge abroad, but he is certainly convinced that he will finally overcome the preordained role of prohibitive underdog and score a major upset in Guadalajara.
“I am ready for the fight,” said Coria, 25, in an interview, only hours before heading to Mexico to face former WBO junior middleweight titlist Jaime Munguia in a middleweight bout this coming Saturday, Nov 19. “I was getting ready for another fight and we were almost ready. It wasn’t a fight of this magnitude, but we were well trained anyway, and now we have done some great sparring and we’re ready for a fight of this caliber. I am only expecting to make weight, which is something that we had not arranged earlier.”
Coria, nicknamed “El Mago” (The Magician) only due to him sharing the same name with the tennis player who went by that same nick, had his share of successes and disappointments away from his native Argentina, and it was abroad where he scored a win that reshaped his career at that time.
“In Uruguay I had a great fight,” he says, mentioning his stoppage win over former Olympian Alberto Palmetta in Punta del Este back in 2017. “Sure, it was a great fight, and a fight that opened a lot of doors for me. But all the fights are important. Against Marco Reyes (in Mexico in 2019) in I also had a great fight, against a giant of an opponent who had many big names in his resume. I did have a few great opportunities, but I wished I had few more big fights too.”
Coria (21-5-1, 8 knockouts) did have a few other fights abroad, however, that didn’t exactly go as planned, even though planning was not as thorough as it should have been.
“In Latvia, they told me first that the fight was not going to happen, and then it was back on again, and so on, until they told me it was going to happen,” said Coria, mentioning his bout against Artur Akavov in Riga back in 2018. “We were ready but with very little time to prepare for it. They finally called us up at the last minute. We didn’t lose that fight, we lost by one or two points on the scorecards and there was a knockdown that they didn’t rule as such in that fight against Akavov.”
Hoping to plan his next moves ahead with more time was the idea, but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, and planning anything was simply impossible.
“In the US, it was an improvised fight, we got a call only a few days before, and it was during the pandemic, when I was training but not as much as I should have,” said Coria regarding his bout against current middleweight titlist Zhanibek Alimkhanuly under the cover of the “Bubble” in Las Vegas in 2020. “Argentina was in complete shutdown, we couldn’t train in the gym or spar or anything else. That’s why I believe we’re ready this time, and this one will be different. Because of all that previous experience, I believe I am ready this time. It’s an important rival, and we’re ready for him.”
Without offering much details, Coria hopes that Munguia is ready for him too, especially in one department.
“I hope he makes weight without any problems,” said Coria. “He’s a very experienced fighter. We worked on our speed and movement, which is our style. We know Jaime is going to bring the fight to me, so it will be a strategic fight, a chess match, if you will. It will be a great fight. It will be a duel of technical fighters.”
With no title at stake, it is difficult to envision Coria finding enough motivation to put it all on the line in another risky fight abroad against a durable fighter and facing uncertainty in the scorecards, but regardless of how young he still is and how many more opportunities there are out there for him, Coria believes that this is the right moment to make a statement – and he is vowing to make it happen.
“Obviously, I have many fights ahead of me yet. But we have worked hard with my team, we have our sights set on this fight and we are going to leave everything in the ring for this one.”
Diego M. Morilla has written for The Ring since 2013. He has also written for HBO.com, ESPN.com and many other magazines, websites, newspapers and outlets since 1993. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and an elector for the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He has won two first-place awards in the BWAA’s annual writing contest, and he is the moderator of The Ring’s Women’s Ratings Panel. He served as copy editor for the second era of The Ring en Español (2018-2020) and is currently a writer and editor for RingTV.com.