By Jake Donovan
The night began with Jaime Munguia eager to get his ordered mandatory title defense out of the way while fighting in front of 17,000 adoring fans in Monterrey, Mexico.
It nearly ended in disaster, as the unbeaten 22-year old from Tijuana was considered fortunate to prevail in their DAZN-streamed super welterweight title fight Saturday evening.
Scores of 114-114 even, 115-113 and 116-112 in favor of Munguia, who lodged the fourth successful defense of the 154-pound title he claimed just 11 months ago.
Many watching the livestream were in disbelief over the outcome, as a popular opinion was that Hogan (28-2-1, 7KOs) deserved the nod. The reigning titlist might not agree with that take, but also admits he didn’t fully expect to win by night’s end.
“Honestly, once the fight ended I thought it was going to end in a draw,” Munguia said after what was easily the toughest fight of his still young career. “I learned a lot about fighting through frustration. It was similar to what happened in my last fight”
Munguia struggled to a degree in a 12-round win over previously unbeaten Takeshi Inoue less than three months ago. That he got the decision that night wasn’t as surprising as the very wide scores in their spirited affair. For the second straight fight, however, the defending titlist was less than explosive—and even less convinced that he wlll be able to stick around at 154 much longer.
“I was also a bit fatigued,” Munguia admitted of his physical state down the stretch. “Making weight could have contributed to that.”
At his age and also as a 6’0” super welterweight, it’s hardly a stretch to believe that middleweight is very much in his future. Of concern, though, is how often he gets hit and how much he still needs to learn and improve.
“We will have to have that discussion with Zanfer Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions and decide what’s best for my future,” noted Munguia.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox