By Steve Kim
This Saturday night from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Jaime Munguia makes the first defense of his WBO junior middleweight title he won back on May 12th by bludgeoning Sadam Ali over four rounds. Munguia faces mandatory challenger Liam Smith as the main event on HBO.
Fernando Beltran, who's company(Zanfer Promotions) in the past has promoted the likes of Erik Morales and Jose Luis Castillo, among others, believes he has the next great fighter from south of the border.
"Absolutely, I have the next Mexican star," claimed Beltran. "He's a kid that I've been promoting him since he was a little boy. I've been supporting him since he was like eight years old and I started promoting him with his pro debut. We started with fighters who were making their pro debuts, after that he was resolving everything so quick that I put him with better opposition."
Still just 21 years old, Munguia (29-0, 25 KO's) began his pro career in 2013 - and it was only a few months ago the unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin was searching for an opponent for May 5th after his scheduled appointment with Saul Alvarez was cancelled - and Munguia was in line to face Golovkin in Las Vegas on that date before he was nixed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
"When the opportunity with Golovkin came, I really believed he would knock out Golovkin," stated Beltran, who eventually landed his client a shot versus Ali, ironically in place of the guy they are facing this weekend.
"Now he's facing a guy who went 9 rounds with Canelo in Texas and I think it's a fighter who's style is just made for Munguia," Beltran continued.
"He goes in front of you, he covers himself a lot and he counter-punches after you finish. But I believe that Munguia is going to take care of business this time and I think he's going to go before 10 rounds."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.