HBO Sports presents another WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING card from the Empire State, this time visiting Verona, for SADAM ALI VS. JAIME MUNGUIA AND REY VARGAS VS. AZAT HOVHANNISYAN, to be seen SATURDAY, MAY 12 at 10:00 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT) from Turning Stone Resort Casino, exclusively on HBO. The HBO Sports team will call the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino. (photos by Ed Mulholland/HBO, Matt Beasley/Hoganphotos).
The main event is a junior middleweight title showdown, as Brooklyn’s Sadam Ali (26-1, 14 KOs) defends his crown against rising challenger Jaime Munguia (28-0, 24 KOs) from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, in a scheduled 12-round bout. The 29-year-old Ali played spoiler at boxing legend Miguel Cotto’s retirement fight last December, and now looks to build his own legacy.
Official Weights from Verona:
Sadam Ali: 153 lbs.
Jaime Munguia: 152.75 lbs.
Rey Vargas: 120 lbs.
Azat Hovhannisyan: 121 lbs.
Munguia jumped at the chance to compete for a 154-pound title belt when Liam Smith withdrew due to illness. Though just 21, the undefeated fighter has started to make noise in the deep, talented junior middleweight division.
The opening bout features undefeated Rey Vargas (31-0, 22 KOs) from Otumba, Mexico taking (14-2, 11 KOs) from Yerevan, Armenia, now living in Los Angeles, in a scheduled 12-round super bantamweight title fight.
The undefeated Vargas boasts a 71% knockout-to-win ratio and will be making the third defense of his 122-pound belt. He recorded three wins in 2017, most recently besting the previously undefeated Oscar Negrete on HBO. Hoyhannisyan, who has a 70% knockout-to-win ratio, is on an eight-bout winning streak after a majority decision loss in 2014; his only other loss came in his four-round pro debut in 2011. Known as “Crazy A,” he won all three of his bouts last year, and scored a sixth-round knockout of Ronny Rios on March 9.