Jaime Munguia is in the midst of a milquetoast middleweight stint featuring run-of-the-mill matchups. 

The former 154-pound WBO titleholder Munguia (41-0, 33 KOs) has had an unremarkable tenure since moving up in weight in 2020, easily scoring wins against the likes of Gary O'Sullivan, Tureano Johnson, Kamil Szeremeta, Gabriel Rosado, D'Mitrius Ballard, Jimmy Kelly, and Gonzalo Gaston Coria. 

The 26-year-old has seemingly been ready for a serious step-up, but a mouthwatering bout has never materialized. It’s been a disappointing and perplexing development for the Mexican, who once came close to facing Gennadiy Golovkin in 2018 as a still-green fighter. 

But now, after years of back and forth banter calling for Golovkin as well as the Charlo brothers, among others, it appears that Munguia wants to stop treading water by presenting himself with an even bigger challenge.

"He is ready for any of the greats. There is also a lot of interest in doing the fight with [Dmitry] Bivol, which is one of the fights that Jaime is very interested in. We are seeing rivals, but it's what he wants, the big fights this year," Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez told ESPN. 

"One thinks it's crazy because [Munguia] has been fighting at middleweight, but Jaime and [co-promoter and Zanfer Promotions head] Fernando Beltran see something they like in that fight [versus Bivol]. Jaime is big, and very strong. He has to work hard to reach 160 pounds. One of the last fights he fought above weight and he felt very strong and fast. So it's not that crazy.”

A bout with Bivol would likely mean Munguia would have to agree to fight Bivol at the Russian’s desired terms around a contracted weight. 

Bivol is the 175-pound WBA champion who is coming off a banner year in 2022 by beating Munguia countrymen Canelo Alvarez and Gilberto Ramirez. 

The Russian is a career-long light heavyweight who has never fought below 173 pounds since turning pro in 2014. 

As for Bivol’s plans, in addition to a bout at 175 pounds, he’s entertained the idea of facing Alvarez at 168 pounds for the undisputed super middleweight championship, as well as fighting current unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev for the undisputed championship should Beterbiev beat Anthony Yard on Jan. 28. 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.