By Jake Donovan
There remains a chance that boxing will honor Mexican Independence Day with a major show after all.
While the sport’s most prominent figure, World middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has officially detached himself from previously plans fight on September 14, Golden Boy Promotions could still wind up running a show that evening. Such a bill would be headlined by a super welterweight title fight between unbeaten titlist Jaime Munguia and former two-division beltholder Jessie Vargas.
News of ongoing talks for the bout—which had been rumored for weeks—was confirmed by Vargas himself.
“Currently negotiating a fight with Jaime Munguia for September,” Vargas (29-2-2, 11KOs) publicly stated through social media on Tuesday. “Bringing entertainment to my fans.”
On the surface, few restrictions exist in putting together such a bout. Both boxers fight are aligned with sports streaming service DAZN. Munguia (33-0, 26KOs) has fought twice on the platform through a co-promotion with Golden Boy. Vargas signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing USA last summer, headlining the first-ever DAZN USA card to take place in the United States which took place last October in Chicago, Ill.
Hearn has recently teased his intentions to have unbeaten lightweight Devin Haney command the now-vacant September 14 date in Las Vegas (where Vargas was born and raised), although the current Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) schedule shows that Golden Boy still has a hold for that slot, even without Alvarez fighting that night.
A Munguia-Vargas topped-card—should the bout come to fruition—has also been teased to land in the greater Los Angeles area.
Tijuana’s Munguia claimed a super welterweight title last May, tearing through Sadam Ali inside of four rounds to become a major titlist at just 21 years of age. He’s already racked up four defenses, with his entire five-fight title reign taking place within an 11-month span.
Included among the lot was his own taste of a Mexican Independence Day-themed show in Vegas which came last September. Munguia scored a 3rd round knockout of Brandon Cook in the chief support to Alvarez’s majority decision win over then-unbeaten and unified titlist Gennadiy Golovkin in their title fight rematch at T-Mobile Arena.
Some of the new penny shine has come off of the 6’0” super welterweight since then. Munguia—who turns just 23 in October—found himself in a firefight in a competitive but clear decision win over Japan’s Takeshi Inoue this past January. Three months later came his first title fight in Mexico, though he was considered extremely fortunate to escape with a 12-round majority decision over mandatory challenger Dennis Hogan this past April.
There were talks of the still-growing Munguia possibly moving up to middleweight, his name being floated as a candidate to face Golovkin this fall. For now, it seems that he’s staying put, which gives his next potential opponent a crack at becoming a three-division titlist.
Vargas made his foray into the super welterweight division earlier this year, engaging in an entertaining brawl with Mexico’s Humberto Soto before putting him away in six rounds this past April. The win was his first since Dec. 2017, having fought to back-to-back draws with Adrien Broner and Thomas Dulorme in his lone two fights of 2018.
The 30-year old Las Vegas native remains hopeful of adding a third major title to his resume, enjoying a two-year reign at super lightweight before moving up to 147 pounds in 2015. His first bid at a major belt came up just short, dropping a competitive 12-round decision to Tim Bradley in their June 2015 interim title fight before winning the real thing in March 2016, scoring his own stoppage win over Ali to claim a vacant belt.
The latter of his two reigns was short lived, dropping a lopsided 12-round decision to Manny Pacquiao in his first title defense in Nov. 2016.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox