The former WBO super welterweight champion wanted to make a statement in his first fight at the middleweight division. On Saturday night, he showed that he could be some trouble to deal with.
Jaime Munguia (35-0, 28 KOs) battered Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (30-4, 21 KOs) at the Alamodome to win the fight by technical knockout as O’Sullivan’s corner threw in the towel at the 2:17 mark of the 11th round. The result got Munguia a minor title in the division, but more importantly he becomes a top contender for a world title at middleweight. O’Sullivan was stopped for the third time in his career after coming into this fight with a TKO win over Khiary Gray last March.
From the beginning of the fight, Munguia showed his speed and power as he threw combinations and rocked O’Sullivan at the end of the 1st round. Munguia followed O’Sullivan around the ring and when he was in range continued to throw those combinations while O’Sullivan tried to respond with counter shots. At the end of the 3rd round, Munguia got caught with a right hand that stopped his momentum for a bit. However, it was not enough to swing the bout into O’Sullivan’s favor.
Munguia stayed busy with his hands, throwing three or four punches at a time against an opponent that was there in front of him most of the time. There were some issues as Munguia hit O’Sullivan low in the 6th round to put a pause to the bout, and then again in in the 7th as a left hand by Munguia hit the leg of O’Sullivan. Even with those breaks, Munguia stayed focused and resumed his barrage until the 11th round, when a series of punches forced the corner of Gary O’Sullivan to throw in the towel before O’Sullivan went down to the mat.
After the fight, Munguia assessed his performance and what he was focusing on. He felt a little confident when he was throwing the combinations, but then held back on the aggression a little when O’Sullivan was throwing punches back. “I wasn’t sure because when I had him hurt that’s when he would hit hard,” Munguia said. “I was confused whether to attack or not, but thanks to my corner and Robert Morales.”
“I give myself an eight or a nine. I think I did better at 160. I feel like I wore down less cause of the weight cut. I felt I threw more punches, more combinations, and it made the difference.”
That difference could be key as he is now viewed as a world title contender in the middleweight division. He could fight for a world title later this year, but as of now we do not know who it will be. Munguia feels that he is ready for any of those guys to show that he can be one of the best fighters at 160.
“I want to fight the best in the division, Golovkin, Canelo, or Charlos.”
Cover photo by Tom Hogan of Hoganphotos