Jaime Munguia may yet turn out to be the real deal. 

He’s only 26 years old, is a former titlist at Jr. middleweight, and Saturday he scored the walkover everyone knew was coming against Gonzalo Coria, stopping the hopeless foe in three. 

It was Munguia’s third win of 2022, a solid activity level, all of them over before five rounds had passed. Still, it felt like a step back from a 2021 that saw Munguia defeat former title challengers Kamil Szeremeta and Gabriel Rosado. 

It was just more than four years ago that Munguia appeared willing to tempt Gennadiy Golovkin between Golovkin’s first two fights with only for Nevada to intercede to stop the match. Munguia was deemed a mismatch at the time only to win and defend a Jr. middleweight belt twice before that year was done. 

A struggle the following year with Dennis Hogan came in his fourth of five defenses and if it feels like Munguia has been locked in place ever since, it’s because in some ways he has. A fight with WBC middleweight titlist Jermell Charlo blew up on the tarmac and Munguia spent 2022 fighting prospects and less instead.

At some point, there has to be a destination, right?    

Futures: Munguia certainly didn’t hurt his standing on Saturday and regardless of what he spent this year doing he is in an enviable position. Munguia is the number one contender to the WBC and WBO titles and is rated third by the WBA and IBF. 

The WBC standing is really a number two behind WBC interim titlist Carlos Adames and it probably doesn’t matter. Munguia challenging Charlo has the same obstacles now it did before and Charlo-Adames is an easier fight to make under the PBC umbrella. The WBO route would line Munguia up with rising new titlist Zhanibek Alimkahnuly.

Munguia, based on post-fight comments, is hoping to close a career circle with Golovkin. If he could secure the fight, it gives him the most bang for his buck as Golovkin has both the WBA and IBF straps. Regardless of who he faces, Munguia should be beyond frustrated with his spot. 2023 needs to be an attempt for more if he’s ever going to be more than just another guy filling time on otherwise dead weekends on the calendar like he did last week.        

Cliff’s Notes…

Argi Cortes got a tougher fight than expected in his first bout since a spirited challenge of Juan Francisco Estrada at Jr. bantamweight. Cortes is the sort of guy who can make for some tough nights over the next few years…Hasim Rahman Jr. can stop being a thing now…Liam Davies looks like a comer at Jr. featherweight. That division keeps getting deeper. Let’s hope Stephen Fulton’s rumored rematch at featherweight with Brandon Figueroa isn’t necessarily the end of his time in class as 2023 could otherwise be a hell of a year there if the chips fall the right way.

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at roldboxing@hotmail.com