Former world champion and undefeated Jaime Munguia (40-0, 32 KOs) got off to a slow start Saturday night against former world title challenger Jimmy “Kilrain” Kelly (26-3, 10 KOs) in their scheduled 12-round super middleweight fight at Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Kelly was in control for the first few rounds, but Munguia started to land strong power punches as Kelly tried and often failed to counter. By the fifth round, Munguia attacked, dropping him three times to be declared the winner by knockout at the 2:57 marker.
“It was difficult in the beginning since he’s a slippery, tough fighter, and he could take a punch,” said Munguia. “He was trying to do his plan of attack, but I had to do my thing and work the body. My mentality was that I was losing the first three rounds. So I had to follow my plan of slowing him down by attacking the body. I figured out that I had to work through the middle and throw punches like the uppercut. I think it was the punch that I knocked him down with.”
After the fight, the 25-year-old Munguia, who, like his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, did earlier this week, called out WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo. Recently, the two were in talks about a fight, but they could not come to an agreement.
“I think this fight helped me out a lot,” he said. “I’m ready to go back to 160 to fight for a world title or move to 168. I’m ready for any challenge. There are a lot of people who are supporting me. I want to say what Oscar said for Charlo to grow some balls and stop hiding behind Haymon. I think it would be great for boxing. We hope that by the end of the year, we can get a big fight.”
A fight with Charlo would be great, but the business of boxing makes it difficult. Charlo is with PBC/Showtime, and Munguia is with Golden Boy/DAZN, so we’ll see if it happens.
Photo: Tom Hogan / Golden Boy