Jaime Munguia was right on time with one of the most dominant wins of his career.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the team for the unbeaten former WBO junior middleweight contender has entered significant talks with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez regarding a future all-Mexico showdown. The development—which was first reported by ESPN Knockout—emerged shortly after Munguia’s one-sided, ninth-round knockout of England’s John Ryder in their January 27 super middleweight fight, after which he expressed his desire to face the division’s undisputed king.
“I'm motivated for the next fight; it's going to be better than this one, and it's going to keep getting bigger,” Munguia said afterward. “We want the best of the best in 168. We are going to be World Champions.
“It would be a great fight amongst Mexicans, and if Canelo gives us the chance, it would be an honor to share the ring with him.”
Guadalajara’s Alvarez (60-2-2, 39KOs) has yet to announce his next opponent. The industry-wide speculation is that he is due to next appear on May 4 in Las Vegas, though there has not been any official notice of the rumored event.
Talks with Munguia positions Alvarez to potentially enter his first fight with a Golden Boy Promotions-affiliated boxer since his bitter split from the California-based outfit in 2020.
Munguia is co-promoted by Zanfer Boxing and Golden Boy. Alvarez is technically a promotional free agent, though it was widely reported that he entered a multi-fight agreement with Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) last summer.
Boxing Scene has learned that while talks between Mexico’s two biggest current stars have been immediately productive, they remain very much in the preliminary stage. A decision on that front is not expected to come in the coming days, particularly not on Tuesday when Alvarez is due to reveal “an important career announcement” in an exclusive interview on TV Azteca in his native Mexico.
Tijuana’s Munguia (43-0, 34KOs) is 3-0 in fights above middleweight, including his past two in true super middleweight bouts. He scored a 12th round knockdown of former title challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko to earn a unanimous decision last June 10 in Boxing Scene’s 2023 Fight of the Year. He followed up with a far more dominant showing versus Ryder (32-7, 18KOs), whom he floored four times en route to a lopsided stoppage victory.
Munguia is currently the number-one contender with the WBO, who previously declared that they would not enforce its mandatory until the end of the year.
Those plans could drastically change if Munguia in fact emerges as the frontrunner to next face Alvarez, who has held two full super middleweight titles since December 2020. He fully unified the division in a span of four fights, defeating three unbeaten titlists—Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant—to crown the division’s first-ever undisputed champion in November 2021.
Alvarez has since lost to Dmitry Bivol in a WBA light heavyweight before he returned to super middleweight for three successful title defenses with all four major titles at stake. In his most recent outing, Alvarez—a four-division champion and Mexico’s first-ever undisputed champion in the three- or four-belt era—soundly outpointed Houston’s Jermell Charlo over twelve rounds last September 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Prior speculation has placed two-division and current WBC middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo, Jermell’s twin brother, as a potential leading candidate to land the May 4 assignment. Munguia has since entered as an attractive option, whether next or later in the year versus his celebrated countryman.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox