Jaime Munguia remains the WBO’s number one contender for Janibek Alimkhanuly’s middleweight title.
Alimkhanuly knows Munguia already turned down a fight with him once. The Kazakh southpaw doesn’t think Munguia will change his mind and thus has turned his attention to other opponents.
“I told you I’m a middleweight nightmare,” Alimkhanuly told BoxingScene.com. “I am the most avoided boxer. If not, why did [Munguia] refuse to fight? To be honest, I’m not interested in him. He is nobody. He is not a champion. I need champions!”
Munguia informed BoxingScene.com recently that he, too, wants to fight champions in 2023. The 26-year-old contender mentioned potential fights with Gennadiy Golovkin (42-2-1, 37 KOs), who owns the IBF, IBO and WBA middleweight titles, and WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs).
Though disinterested in fighting for Alimkhanuly’s WBO belt, Munguia is scheduled to face a huge underdog Saturday night, Gonzalo Gaston Coria, that Alimkhanuly annihilated two years ago. Alimkhanuly (13-0, 8 KOs) knocked Coria to the canvas, face first, and won their October 2020 bout by second-round knockout at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Mexico’s Munguia had long been the WBO’s number one contender in the middleweight division when the former WBO junior middleweight champion’s handlers declined the chance to fight Alimkhanuly for its interim title last spring. Munguia’s team previously turned down a shot at WBO middleweight champ Demetrius Andrade (31-0, 19 KOs), despite that the Tijuana native was that sanctioning organization’s mandatory challenger for a title Andrade has since vacated.
DAZN will stream the 10-round, 165-pound bout between Munguia (40-0, 32 KOs) and Argentina’s Coria (21-5, 8 KOs) as the main event of a show from Arena Astros in Guadalajara, Mexico. DAZN’s undercard coverage is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET.
Alimkhanuly, meanwhile, had more difficulty dealing with a huge underdog, Denzel Bentley, than anticipated during his first title defense last Saturday night in Las Vegas.
The 29-year-old champion out-pointed England’s Bentley (17-2-1, 14 KOs) unanimously, but Bentley responded to a slow start by making their 12-round, 160-pound title fight competitive over the final seven rounds. Alimkhanuly won by scores of 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112 at Palms Casino Resort’s Pearl Concert Theater.
Alimkhanuly won the WBO interim middleweight title by knocking out another British underdog, Danny Dignum (14-1-1, 8 KOs), in the second round May 21 at Resorts World Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
ADD COMMENT VIEW COMMENTS (48)