LAS VEGAS (July 21, 2018): Jaime Munguia (30-0, 25 KOs) defended his WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship against former world champion Liam “Beefy” Smith (26-2-1, 14 KOs) via 12-round decision in the main event of HBO Boxing After Dark on Saturday, July 21 in front of 2470 fans at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas. Munguia scored a knockdown with a counter left hook in the sixth round of a back-and-forth battle in which the native of Tijuana, Mexico eventually won with scores of 116-111, 119-110, and 119-108.
“I feel good. I’m happy. I think that the people liked it,” said Jaime Munguia. “I didn’t win by knockout like I always. This is the fifth decision win of my career. But I fought a good opponent who was strong. I came in very well prepared. There are no excuses and we will keep learning because this gave me a lot of experience. I’m only 21 years old and I will keep working in the gym. Liam Smith is a warrior. He is strong. There were times where I really landed punches, which really backed him up. He’s very strong and can take a punch, so I have no excuses. I was always looking for the knockout. I always looked for the fight, and I went in there like a true Mexican. I think going these 12 rounds will serve me as experience.”
“I don’t think he’s a much better fighter than me,” said Liam Smith. “It was the body shots that hurt me. I wanted the title I lost two years ago. I want to stay more active than before. I’m usually known for my fitness, but was I winded in this fight. I felt my skill level made the difference in certain parts.”
Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (20-0, 16 KOs) of San Juan, Puerto Rico, retained his WBA Super Featherweight World Title by beating previously undefeated Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah (31-1, 23 KOs) of Accra, Ghana via 10-round unanimous decision in tonight’s co-main event. Machado dropped Mensah with a hard right hook in the first round and hurt him several times en route to earning three scores of 120-107.
“Though I couldn’t finish him, I’m happy I went all the rounds because it was an experience I hadn’t had before,” said Alberto Machado. “I hurt my left hand early, so that’s why I stopped throwing the left hand to the body. But I kept to the game plan that Freddie Roach had for me and used the jab and worked from a distance. I’d fight anyone. I have to talk with my promoter first, but I would like fight Francisco Vargas.”