By Lem Satterfield
WBO champion Jamie Munguia ranked himself ahead of IBF/WBA/IBO counterpart Jarrett Hurd, WBC title winner Tony Harrison, former titleholder Jermell Charlo and WBA “regular” titlist Brian Castano when asked by BoxingScene.com to list the 154-pound division’s top five fighters on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old Munguia (31-0, 26 KOs), of Mexico, makes his third defense in pursuit of his second straight knockout against 29-year-old Takeshi Inoue (13-0-1, 7 KOs), of Tokyo, Japan, in a January 26 DAZN main event at The Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
“No. 1 obviously would be me. Then, No. 2 would be Jarrett Hurd, who is a very strong fighter,” said Munguia, who was 5-0 with four knockouts in 2018 after being 7-0 with six KOs in 2017. “No. 3 would be Tony Harrison. No. 4 would be Jermell Charlo, and No. 5 would be Brian Castano.”
A native of Tijuana, Munguia has registered a combined six knockdowns in his past three fights, in succession dethroning Sadam “World Kid” Ali by fourth-round, four knockdown TKO (May 2018), and having twice defended it by one-knockdown unanimous decision over Liam Smith (July) and one knockdown third-round TKO of Brandon Cook (September).
Last month, the 28-year-old Hurd won his third defense by fourth-round knockout over England’s Jason Welborn (24-7, 7 KOs), representing his eighth stoppage in nine fights following a one-knockdown, split-decision victory that added Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara’s WBA crown to his IBF version in April.
Hurd won his crown by ninth-round knockout in February 2017 over Harrison (28-2, 21 KOs), who dethroned Charlo (31-1, 15 KOs) as WBC titleholder by disputed unanimous decision last month. Hurd, Harrison and Charlo are all 28 years old.
The 29-year-old Castano (15-0,11 KOs) of Argentina could face the 35-year-old Lara (25-3-2, 14 KOs) in an early spring bout confirmed to be in the works by their respective managers, Sebastian Contursi and Luis DeCubas Jr.
"I know that a fight between Hurd and myself would be a big clash because we both fight coming forward, and with those kinds of styles, it's hard to imagine that fight going to a decision," said Munguia.
"With Harrison, I think he would run and try to maintain distance. It would be a tough fight, but I would have to take the fight to find him and knock him out. As far as Charlo, let him win a world title, and then, we'll talk about fighting."
Would Munguia win by knockout?
"I think I’d knock all of them out," said Munguia. "I’m sure that I can.”