It might have taken longer than he expected, but Jaime Munguia made sure to deliver a knockout in his middleweight debut.
Munguia pummeled Gary O’Sullivan against the ropes with a series of stinging rights and lefts before the veteran’s corner threw in the towel behind the referee’s back. Munguia dropped O’Sullivan seconds later, and the ref spotted the towel to bring a halt to the fight. The stoppage gave the 23-year-old Mexican an 11th-round TKO victory at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Saturday night, live on DAZN.
“I would give myself about an 8 or 9 (out of 10) because I needed to still do a few more things, but we’re going to take this fight by fight,” Munguia said of his debut at 160 pounds during the postfight interview on DAZN.
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That said, Munguia wants a crack at the best the division has to offer, led by the face of boxing, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
“I want to fight against the best of the division,” he said, “whether it’s Canelo (Alvarez), (Gennadiy) Golovkin, (Jermall) Charlo.”
Absent from his list of middleweight championship mentions was WBO titleholder Demetrius Andrade.
Munguia’s first stab at middleweight was definitely an invaluable experience. The 35-year-old O’Sullivan was rugged enough to hang with the quicker, stronger puncher and frustrate him at times. The veteran even caught Munguia with some big shots that tested the former junior middleweight champion’s chin.
It took Munguia (35-0, 28 KOs) committing to his jab in the ninth round to show real-time maturity and pull away before pummeling O’Sullivan into a retirement from his corner.
Earlier in the fight, O’Sullivan repeatedly complained about low blows and rabbit punches. Munguia even had a point deducted in the sixth round for a low blow. In the seventh, Munguia seemed to have dropped O’Sullivan with crunching body shots, but it was ruled another low blow — although unintentional this time. Munguia drove O’Sullivan back against the ropes with a fast combination during the waning seconds of the seventh.
Four rounds later, Munguia got the stoppage he was seeking. Now he’ll look to further test his skills at 160.
Co-main event: Alejandra Jimenez def. Franchon Crews-Dezurn to win WBC/WBO women’s super middleweight titles
Jimenez wobbled Crews-Dezurn with a big right hand in the second round, and she seemed to immediately realize what damage the punch could do. The Mexican fighter, who had moved down from heavyweight, showed the willingness to eat Crews-Dezurn’s punches just to dole out punishment of her own. The non-stop pressure worked; Crews-Dezurn’s legs were never the same from the fourth round on.
Although Crews-Dezurn showed plenty of fortitude in fighting back, and while she, in fact, landing more punches, Jimenez produced the harder shots throughout the fight. That output powered her to a split-decision victory and the titles. Judges saw it 98-92 and 97-93 for Jimenez and 97-93 for Crews-Dezurn, though the scores could have easily been tighter.
After the fight, Jimenez said through a translator that “we’re going to go for Claressa Shields at middleweight” next.
Shields (10-0) on Friday became the quickest boxer ever — man or woman — to be crowned a three-division world champion.
Hector Tanajara Jr. dominates Juan Carlos Burgos; lightweights
Tanajara asserted the jab and stayed on the outside through the first five rounds. The last five had him stepping in the phone booth and connecting on powerful, stinging shots inside. The combination of strategies led to the 23-year-old fighter scoring a unanimous decision (99-91, 97-92, 97-92) and improving to 19-0.
Joshua Franco stops Jose Burgos with ninth-round TKO; junior bantamweights
Franco rocked Burgos with a left hook and unleashed a barrage of unanswered shots to force the stoppage in the ninth round.