Gennadiy Golovkin doesn’t need to look very far in search of his next willing challenger.
Former junior middleweight titlist Jaime Munguia has seen his name floated as a person of interest to next take on the two-time middleweight titleholder. That fight very much remains in play after Golovkin had his way with miserably overmatched mandatory challenger Kamil Szeremeta, scoring four knockdowns en route to a 7th round stoppage win Friday evening at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
As previously reported by BoxingScene.com senior writer Keith Idec, a bout between Golovkin and Munguia is one of several being considered by DAZN for the first half of its 2021 schedule. Both boxers are currently exclusive to the sports streaming service—Golovkin (41-1-1, 36KOs) through his own deal, and Munguia via ties to Golden Boy Promotions—and with at least one side very interested in making the fight happen.
“Jaime Munguia definitely deserves a shot at Triple G’s middleweight title,” Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions told BoxingScene.com shortly after Golovkin’s latest win. “It’s the most intriguing fight that can be made in the division, pitting Mexico’s biggest rising star against the most dominant 160-pound champion of the past decade.”
Tijuana’s Munguia (36-0, 29KOs) once pursued a fight with Golovkin who was an unbeaten and unified middleweight titlist at the time he was in need of an opponent for a May 2018 date. The vacancy came about after Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez tested positive for Clenbuterol, which in turn prompted a six-month suspension to ruin plans for a rematch with Golovkin to have taken place eight months after their controversial September 2017 draw.
A fight between Golovkin and a then-rising 154-pound contender in Munguia was rejected by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, killing any hope of salvaging the Cinco de Mayo date. Golovkin instead took his act to Southern California, where he wiped out Vanes Martirosyan inside of two rounds for his final successful title defense. Four months later came his 12-round loss to Alvarez to end a middleweight reign which dated back to his first interim title win in 2010.
One week later, Munguia slaughtered Sadam Ali inside of four rounds to emphatically claim a 154-pound title, which he successfully defended five times. His reign came to a close late in 2019, vacating his belt in pursuit of a middleweight campaign. Munguia has picked up two knockout wins at 160, stopping Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan inside of 11 rounds this past January in San Antonio and then forcing Tureano Johnson into submission due to a grotesque quote after six rounds this past October in Indio, California.
After the fight, Munguia offered an expressed interest in next challenging for a middleweight title. Golovkin regained a title with a hard-fought 12-round win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko last October, returning to the ring for the first time since then with Friday’s lopsided win over Szeremeta which did nothing to satisfy home viewers.
While some hold out hope for a third fight with Alvarez—who is now campaigning at super middleweight, where he challenges England’s Callum Smith (27-0, 19KOs) for a major title this Saturday in San Antonio—many others in the industry have grown exhausted in the drama that has come with such an attempt. Alvarez is keen on unifying the super middleweight division—where he physically appears to be at his best weight—while Golovkin has never fought outside of the 160-pound division save for a tune-up knockout win over outgunned Steve Rolls last June.
Absent a unification bout with the likes of Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade or secondary titlist Ryota Murata, a fight with Munguia is certainly appealing from a competitive and notoriety standpoint. It would also pair nicely with the strong schedule already being offered by Golden Boy Promotions to start the new year.
“This fight has Cinco de Mayo Weekend written all over it,” insists Gomez. “And if made, it would be the cherry on top of a huge list of international-level cards planned for the first half of 2021, which already includes the Alvarado brothers (Felix, 108-pound titlist, and 130-pound titlist Rene), Bektemir Melikuziev, (130-pound titlist) Joseph Diaz Jr. and (154-pound titlist) Patrick Teixeira.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox