Jaime Munguia says he’s ready for the best super middleweights after Derevyanchenko gut check
Jaime Munguia won a hard-fought battle against fellow middleweight contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko on Saturday at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. The 12-round bout, which was streamed live on DAZN, was at super middleweight, where the former 154-pound beltholder plans to campaign going forward.
Munguia (42-0, 33 KOs) talked about the Fight of the Year candidate he and Derevynachneko put on and what the future might hold for him during the press conference held after the Golden Boy Promotions event.
“I am happy with this fight,” the Tijuana native said. “We had a tough fight. It was a great challenge, and we passed the test. It was a terrific fight. I will keep on fighting.”
Munguia’s co-promoter Fernando Beltran of Zanfer Promotions also spoke.
“What a memorable fight,” the veteran promoter said. “We are very happy with his performance. He had to put his heart and balls out there in the 12th round. He needed that round, big time; he won the round clearly. No one would have complained if they stopped the fight. It was a terrific 12th round and we knew what he needed to do. We are proud of Jaime.”
Going into the final round the fight was a close one and anyone’s to win. A late surge from Munguia, capped with a body shot knockdown in Round 12, helped him pull off the unanimous decision (115-112, 114-113, 114-113). Three-time middleweight title challenger Dereveyanchenko (14-5, 10 KOs) gave the 26-year-old Mexican one of his toughest battles to date.
“The truth is from the 10th round forward; I turned the tide. I began breaking him down to the body and in the 12th, that’s when I caught him,” Munguia said. “It was a good decision. It was a difficult fight. He kept coming but late in the fight we caught him in the tenth and in the final round.”
It was not Munguia’s best performance but it was his most courageous. Munguia’s trainer, Hall of Famer Erik Morales described what he saw during the fight.
“Jaime was fighting valiantly in there,” said the Mexican legend. “He wanted to satisfy the crowd and that’s what was happening. He was going all out against an experienced tough fighter that came well prepared in Dereveyanchenko. All I can say is that Jaime is a warrior in that ring.
“It was complicated because Jaime wants to fight. Don’t worry, Jaime and I will be back in the gym for a better performance next time.”
“I think we must watch the fight and work on more things to improve and spend more time in the gym. I must work on keeping my distance,” Munguia said. “We will keep working in the gym, learning and improving.”
With the win, Munguia picked up the WBC’s silver super middleweight title and expressed his desire to campaign at the 168-pound division. Standing at the top of the division is his countryman, undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez.
“The truth is a fight with Canelo will be a big fight,” he said. “We can have a big Mexican festival. For now, we are campaigning at 168. Honestly, if (the Derevyanchenko) fight makes me vulnerable (to the top super middleweights), I would like to fight them.”
Later in the conference, a media member Face Timed WBC interim super middleweight titleholder David Benavidez’s father and trainer Jose Benavidez and the Coach and Munguia briefly spoke on the possibility of facing his son.
“Congratulations, you represented Mexico tonight. Great win, I’d love for you to fight my son someday. It would be an honor,” Jose Benavidez told Jaime Munguia.
“I’m ready and willing anytime,” Munguia responded.
The 168-pound division includes former titleholder Caleb Plant (22-2, 13 KOs), recent title challenger John Ryder (32-6, 18 KOs), undefeated contenders David Morrell (9-0, 8 KOs), Christian Mbilli (24-0, 20 KOs), Erik Bazinyan (30-0, 21 KOs) of Canada. Other names previously mentioned for Munguia include former world champion Gennadiy Golovkin (42-2-1, 37 KOs) and the inactive WBC middleweight titleholder Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs).
“I am ready to fight the best fighters and champions at 168,” Munguia said.
Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla