Jaime Munguia now has a solidified opponent, date and location for the next step in his middleweight journey.
The unbeaten former junior middleweight titlist will next face Poland’s Maciej Sulecki atop a DAZN show to air live on April 24 from Don Haskins Center on the campus of University Texas at El Paso (UTEP), multiple sources have informed BoxingScene.com. The venue—which primarily houses the UTEP Miners men’s and women’s basketball teams—will host its first boxing event since Nov. 2018, when then-reigning WBC junior lightweight titlist Miguel Berchelt defended his belt in a 7th round stoppage of Miguel Roman.
Tijuana’s Munguia (36-0, 29KOs) fights in the border town for the first time in his career, along with his third appearance in-state overall. The 24-year-old has fought once each in Houston and San Antonio, proving to be a hit with the regional fans on both occasions.
As much is expected for his return to the Lone Star State, which will mark Munguia’s second fight since the pandemic and first with fans in attendance. The former WBO junior middleweight champ earned a 6th round knockout of Tureano Johnson last October behind closed doors at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California. The win was his second as a middleweight, having scored an 11th round stoppage of Ireland’s Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan last January at Alamodome in San Antonio after an active 154-pound reign which included six title fight wins crammed into a 16-month period.
The hope for Munguia this time out was originally to face two-time and reigning IBF middleweight titlist Gennadiy Golovkin (41-1-1, 35KOs). The two sides negotiated such a fight shortly after Golovkin’s one-sided 7th round stoppage of unbeaten mandatory contender Kamil Szeremeta (21-0 at the time) last December in Hollywood, Florida. There existed optimism of the two meeting sometime this spring, only for talks to reach a standstill as both parties opted to move in a different direction.
Munguia’s team would settle on Sulecki (29-2, 11KOs), a veteran contender and former title challenger from Warsaw, Poland. The 31-year-old is coming off of a 10-round shutout win over Sasha Yengoyan last August, his lone fight since the pandemic. It was also the only fight for Sulecki since his failed bid at unseating WBO middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade, dropping a lopsided 12-round decision to the unbeaten two-division title claimant in their June 2019 clash in Andrade’s hometown of Providence, Rhode Island.
The event will mark the third of 2021 to take place in Texas for Golden Boy Promotions. The previous two trips for the California-based outfit both came in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
Golden Boy hosted a stacked card featuring unbeaten lightweight star Ryan Garcia (21-0, 18KOs) this past January at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Most recently, the company hosted a March 20th show at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, topped by rising welterweight Vergil Ortiz Jr. (17-0, 17KOs) in a 7th round stoppage of former WBO junior welterweight titlist Maurice Hooker (27-2-3, 18KOs) in an all-Dallas battle.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox