Patrick Teixeira couldn’t have picked a better time to turn in the best performance of his career.
Four days after handing Carlos Adames his first loss and picking up an interim title, the Brazilian junior middleweight was upgraded to “full” champion by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) during the ratings portion of its annual convention Thursday morning Wednesday evening stateside time) in Tokyo, Japan.
The move came after previous claimant, Mexico’s Jaime Munguia (34-0, 27KOs) formally vacated the title as he will now officially campaign in the middleweight division.
Teixeira (31-1, 22KOs) placed himself in position for an upgrade following a hard-fought 12-round unanimous decision win over Dominican Republic’s Adames (18-1, 14KOs) in their ESPN+ streamed bout Nov. 30 from The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada. A major momentum shift came in round seven, when Teixeira was beginning to fall behind in the fight, only to rally back to rock and drop Adames in the final 30 seconds of what will go down as a Round of the Year candidate. The sequence paved the way for the lean Brazilian boxer to control the tempo down the stretch and emerge victorious, thus extending his current five-fight win streak.
The bout was originally slated as a final eliminator but quickly advanced to an interim title fight once the sanctioning body was notified of Munguia’s tentative plans to abandon the division. That move became official on Thursday, with Munguia set to make his middleweight debut in a non-title bout versus Ireland’s Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan on Jan. 11 at The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
As for the near 6’0” Teixeira, he is content with remaining put for the time being.
“We’ll keep at 154,” Teixeira—who turns 30 on Thursday—told BoxingScene.com. “Regarding my next opponent, I don't think about it at the moment. My manager Patrick Nascimento with my promoter Golden Boy will take care of this.”
The WBO actually took care of that, as Argentina’s Brian Castaño (16-0-1, 12KOs) was officially named as his mandatory challenger. The appointment came from a unanimous vote from the WBO committee upon a request from Sean Gibbons, who was on hand to represent Castaño on behalf of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) and Tom Brown’s TGB Promotions.
A mandatory title fight will be ordered by the WBO upon conclusion of the annual convention, with Castaño’s team instructed to begin negotiations for a title fight in early 2020. The ruling will be fully honored, with the Argentinean’s team expected to land the bout.
“We have plenty of dates on real TV,” noted Gibbons. “Fox, Showtime, PBC has plenty of dates.”
For now, the plan is to rest and revel in serving as Brazil’s lone-reigning world champion,
“I am very happy to bring a world title back to Brazil,” notes Teixeira. “I want to make boxing bigger in Brazil. Soccer is our biggest sport, and this is a great moment for boxing in my country.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox