Boxing Preview: Jaime Munguia real?, Usyk vs Gassiev, Stockton fights
Jaime Munguia [HBO, Las Vegas, 7 PM PST]
Jaime Munguia is massive. He also has a lot of power and that is something boxing writers especially ones who are not in love with the sport fall for. At Munguia’s media day, the WBO super welterweight champion had a lot of buzz as a silent hint in the air was stated that Munguia could be a superstar.
Though I don’t disagree as the combination of his power mixed with Mexican American heritage has the recipe to be a successful and profitable fighter, he keeps his hands low, has slow feet and seems all too willing to trade a punch to give one assuming his power is better than his foes. Essentially what I am saying is, Munguia is an unproven fighter, who when I saw him hit the heavy bag and workout, in general, looked more like a 21-year-old fighter with room to grow than a finished product.
Munguia will be headlining his second HBO card as his first headlining bout was a late-notice replacement world title fight against Sadam Ali, who he destroyed. Ali, though to be fair was a welterweight who moved up to super welterweight for an opportunity against Miguel Cotto, but still, Munguia did what he needed to do.
Munguia will face Liam Smith on Saturday night, the man who was supposed to fight Sadam Ali when Munguia filled in for the Smith who had to pull out last minute. People are betting on Munguia’s power to be too much for Smith, but don’t discount the experience Smith has as he has been in the ring with “Canelo” Alvarez.
Munguia in a perfect world would collect a spectacular win and find himself on the Canelo vs Golovkin II undercard, but also could find himself in a difficult fight if Smith boxes him.
In the co-main event, WBA super featherweight champion Alberto Machado will be back in action as he takes on Ghana’s Rafael Mensah. Machado, who stands at nearly six feet tall while holding a world title at 130 lbs will fight a lesser known opponent on HBO.
It appears to me that with Ryan Garcia’s less than stellar performance in his last bout, left Machado in limbo as Golden Boy Promotions is somewhat unsure what to do with the fighter, who doesn’t seem to have a ton of charisma or a major fan following despite being from Puerto Rico.
Usyk vs Gassiev [Klowd TV, Russia, afternoon]
The obnoxious boxing nerds of the internets favorite fight will happen in Russia on a lesser known streaming service in the United States as Oleksandr Usyk will face Murat Gassiev with all four major cruiserweight titles on the line, meaning the winner will be the unified champion of the division.
Usyk, a Ukraine who uses movement like Lomachenko often looks clunky and prefers to move than to instill damage as his stoppages have come more through accumulation. Gassiev is the polar opposite as he is a fighter who is offered if you don’t hit him, but can punch like only a few in boxing can right now.
It is a contrast between Usyk’s boxing craft and coach Abel Sanchez’s boxing philosophy of pure aggression. A lot of hardcore boxing fans are eager for this bout not just because of the skill, but for the fact that the bout is largely unknown to a group of people in the boxing world.
The winner of this bout will more than likely be a top 10 pound-for-pound fighter.
Cecilia Braekhus vs. Inna Sagaydakovskaya
Unified women’s welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus made a shaky HBO debut earlier this year as she was pushed to the brink of defeat by Kali Reis as she fended off a game challenger.
Braekhus is a healthy favorite, but it should be duly noted that Braekhus is fighting a Russian in Russia, which could cause for some funky scorecards.
Fights in Stockton, CA [Friday, Stockton, 7 PM]
Toscano Boxing Promotions makes its promotional debut with a stacked card featuring a ton of talent in from Stockton, Ca.
The card is headlined by Stockton, CA middleweight Quilisto “Kilo the Kid” Madera in a six-round main event. Madera is currently signed to Top Rank Inc and is a fan-friendly fighter, who embodies the Mexican-American fight style.
The co-main event features lightweight Jose Iniguez, an undefeated power puncher who is looking to make a statement.
The undercard features Manuel Jaimes of Stockton, CA, Jose Carrillo, Veronica Torres, Hector Madera, Matthew Guerrero as well as a terrific clash between Michael Gaxiola versus Ivan Varela.
Boots Ennis [Showtime, Friday]
Jaron “Boots” Ennis is a heavily touted welterweight from Philadelphia, who has a lot of hype by the locals but has been void of national exposure. Ennis is a powerful and fast fighter, who many pundits such as myself who have heard the praise for the fighter, look to see how his first nationally televised fight will look and to get a grasp where he ranks among ShoBox fighters.
Thomas Mattice will be taking on Zhora Hamazaryan in the co-main event of ShoBox. Mattice’s last outing was a mixed bag as Ronald Chinea outworked him until Mattice caught him with a shot that stopped Chinea.
Mattice will be in another hard fight come Friday night as Hamazaryan is another come forward fighter.
Montana Love vs Kenneth Sims Jr.
In a bout many are not marking on their calendar the best bout of the weekend could be the opening bout of ShoBox on Friday night as Montana Love, an amateur national champion will take on fast-handed Kenneth Sims Jr. in a sink or swim.
This is a 50-50 pick’em fight buried on an undercard against two talented fighters.
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai off TV
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai will return in Thailand over the weekend, the super flyweight champion has decided to forgo fighting on HBO for the remainder of the year as a fighter many have in their top 10 pound-for-pound (not mine though), will be fighting in his homeland. Rungvisai is a mauling brute who comes forward and applies pressure.
Doesn’t appear that this bout will be on TV in the U.S.
Super featherweight Lamont Roach will look to shake off a draw in his last bout as he faces another tough foe in Mexico on Golden Boy Promotions card from Mexico. Roach is a fighter who has elements of being a top tier fighter but has to get by this stage of the developmental circuit to get to that point.
Michael Dutchover, Ruben Torres
Super featherweight Michael Dutchover and his teammate and fellow super featherweight Ruben Torres will return Friday night in Ontario, Ca in separate bouts on a Thompson Boxing Promotions card.
Dutchover is a very talented fighter, Torres is a very strong fighter. Worth a watch and it’ll be streaming on Thompson Boxing’s Facebook page.
Flyweight Jonathan Gonzalez fights in Florida on Friday night. His last bout with Ricardo Rodriguez was a very good bout and Gonzalez has silently been racking up fan-friendly performances although at times much to the frustration of his coaches.
Curtis Stevens is on the warpath. Minutes after watching his close friend Sadam Ali get knocked out, Stevens swore he would get redemption upon Jaime Munguia by moving down in weight and fighting him. Stevens is fighting a super welterweight this weekend as he looks to earn that fight.
If both himself and Munguia win over the weekend they could find themselves in a bout on Canelo vs Golovkin II.
Jean Pascal in farce fight
Jean Pascal is coming out of retirement to fight a grossly mismatched opponent as he fights Steve Bosse, a former UFC fighter, who has had one professional boxing bout. It appears as though this will serve as an exhibition bout, but it is also very unsafe and sets an ugly precedent as former UFC heavyweight Tim Hague died from injuries sustained in a boxing match recently, also in Canada.
Perennial women’s top talent Shelly Vincent will fight on Lou DiBella’s Broadway Boxing over the weekend with a bout on DiBella’s streaming service.
regional fight in Arizona – Alfonso Olivra
In Arizona, a regional card will take place featuring some competitive and evenly matched bouts that will spawn opponents for larger shows. If you live in the area, this is a good watch taking place at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona. The headliner is super lightweight Alfonso Olivra.