Two fights into his middleweight run, Jaime Munguia is humble enough to admit that there remains work to be done—even if it means learning at the highest level.
The latest test for the former junior middleweight titlist came in the form of a firm challenge from veteran gatekeeper Tureano Johnson (21-3-1, 15KOs), whom Munguia stopped after six competitive rounds two weeks ago at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California. Getting to that point required the 24-year old Tijuana product to walk through hell, overcoming relentless pressure in order to prevail.
“In the first round he did come out and surprised me,” Munguia admitted during a post-fight virtual press conference. “I went to my corner and they told me to adjust and find my distance.
“Tureano Johnson is a strong fighter who comes forward. We adjusted with our punches and fought according to plan.”
Munguia (36-0, 29KOs) was dialed in with his right uppercut, his weapon of choice throughout the fight. That very punch ultimately produced the end, splitting Johnson’s upper lip to the point of the contest having to be stopped in between rounds six and seven.
The win is Munguia’s second straight at 160 pounds following an adventurous junior middleweight title reign which saw the rising star cram a title win and five successful defenses all into a 16-month span. From there came his middleweight debut, stopping Ireland’s Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan in 11 rounds, followed by the recent feat to further move along his middleweight aspirations.
“I was eager for this fight and learned a lot,” noted Munguia. “That said, I believe that I am ready for a title shot at 160 pounds.”
For now, the plan is to bring him back early in the new year, perhaps as soon as January. Should a title fight fail to materialize, the plan from there will be to rediscover the rate of activity he enjoyed prior to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Of course, I want to fight as often as possible and continue to gain experience,” insists Munguia.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox