Zanfer Promotions head Fernando Beltran knows that Jaime Munguia is still green compared to pound-for-pound star Canelo Alvarez, but the promoter wouldn’t bat an eye if he had the opportunity to stage an all-Mexican slugfest between the two fighters.
A civil war between Munguia and Alvarez would perhaps be a familiar turning of the tables of sorts.
In 2013, a raw yet at-the-time undefeated Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) fought Floyd Mayweather before he’d reached the peak of his powers and lost via decision.
Munguia (35-0, 28 KOs), a former champion at 154, is also currently undefeated and is 23-years-old and would be taking on Alvarez before his skills were truly shaped to its maximum potential.
“Our hope and our dream is to fight Canelo,” Beltran told BoxingScene.com in an interview. “I really think Munguia can give Canelo a fight of his life. If you want to be the best, you have to fight the best. We’ve been talking to [Munguia co-promoter] Golden Boy, Oscar De La Hoya and Eric Gomez to see what’s [Munguia’s] next step. We would love to fight any top 160-pound fighter, like Gennady Golovkin.”
Earlier this month, Alvarez’s trainer Eddy Reynoso said Munguia still needs a little bit more seasoning before he can step up and challenge boxing’s biggest breadwinner.
“Jaime lacks the experience to face Saúl. He is a disciplined fighter who is just coming up. He has a very good coach, Erik [Morales] is helping him, he brings a good promoter, so little by little he is going to go very far, but a confrontation with Saúl would not suit either of them,” Reynoso told ESPN. “He needs more maturity, more experience and apart from that we are about to go up to 168. It will be a difficult thing to face him.”
Beltran echoed Reynoso’s sentiment as well, but he is still up for the challenge if Alvarez takes him up on his offer.
“I agree with Eddy Reynoso [that Munguia needs to develop more],” said Beltran. “He is a very good trainer and he knows what he’s doing handling Canelo’s career. Munguia is getting better. He’s feeling stronger and more healthy. Let’s not forget, he’s only 23 years old. He’s not in a rush. We’re not in a hurry. We believe Munguia is at the level of the best fighters out there. He’s been passing tests with excellence. Why not dream and fight the best ones out there? I don’t think no one is going to walk through [Munguia]. I see him being very competitive at 160 and he can be the best of the division, no doubt. Canelo has plans at 168, and I respect and admire him a lot. I’m very proud that he’s a great Mexican representative. I’ve been in high-level Mexican classics, and I know what it’s all about.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com and currently does TV commentary for combat sports programming that airs on Fox Sports and hosts his own radio show in Los Angeles. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.