ONTARIO, Calif. – Jaime Munguia is aware that he dodged a near disaster against Sergiy Derevyanchenko.

Heading into the twelfth round, Munguia was down a point on two scorecards. At best, he could have scored a majority draw had he won the last round on those cards. But Munguia made some major magic happen by dropping Derevyanchenko with a devastating body shot, and thus, snook away with a unanimous decision with scores of 115-112, 114-113, and 114-113.

"We knew that it was a very close fight. I knew the rounds that I had won. But I knew that I had to close strong, and I knew that knockdown actually helped and swayed the whole thing,” Munguia said after the fight. 

The 26-year-old Munguia (42-0, 33 KOs) said Derevyanchenko (14-5, 10 KOs) made the fight more difficult due to his elusiveness during the fight-of-the-year contender.

“He was moving a lot. It was very difficult for me to catch him. I think I deserved to win the fight. He also put his body up over me with all of his punches. He took me off my game and broke my distance, but I knew how to adjust,” said Munguia. 

“I knew that I had to keep him at a distance. He was breaking my distance. I had to keep him away with the jab. I give all credit to my corner who told me exactly what I needed to do. We made the adjustments and got the results.

“In the 12th round, I caught him with a good body punch. I think I hit him for three minutes with no answer. I don't know why the referee didn't stop the fight, honestly. 

“Yes, it was a very tough lesson. I have a lot to learn. There are a few details that I do need to get better. We're going to keep working and keep improving in the gym. We're going to stay at 168 pounds.” 

During Munguia’s post-fight press conference, Jose Benavidez Sr. – the father and trainer of super middleweight star David Benavidez – joined via FaceTime, congratulated Munguia, and said he wanted for him to fight his son.

Munguia said he was ready for all comers when he was asked if a lot more fighters would be open to facing him now because he appeared unbeatable.

“If this fight made me look vulnerable, honestly, I would love to take the opportunity against anybody,” said Munguia. 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.