By Dan Ambrose: Former WBO 154-lb champion Jaime Munguia says he’d be open to fighting Canelo Alvarez later this year in September if he’s interested in facing him.
However, the 25-year-old Golden Boy-promoted Munguia (38-0, 30 KOs) says he doubts Canelo will choose to face him because he has other fights that he’s interested in at 168 and 175 this year.
Munguia being with Golden Boy makes it unlikely that he’ll ever get a fight against Canelo as long as he’s with them.
But even if Munguia leaves Golden Boy when his contract expires, he’s probably not going to get a fight against Canelo unless he starts fighting quality opposition and battling for world titles.
There’s a belief among some boxing fans that Munguia has been dodging world champions Demetrius Andrade and Jermall Charlo.
Those fans believe Munguia is only looking to get a massive payday fight against 39-year-old IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin in a cash-out fight.
In the meantime, the highly ranked #1 WBC, #1 WBO, #2 WBA middleweight contender Munguia will be fighting little-known second-tier fighter D’Mitrius Ballard (21-0-1,13 KOs) in the main event on DAZN this month on February 19th at the Plaza de Toros, in Tijuana, Mexico.
With Munguia having the chance to fight for a world title if he wanted against WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade, it’s an odd choice for him to be facing an obscure lower-level fighter like the 28-year-old Ballard, who many boxing fans felt deserved a loss in his fight against Yamaguchi Falcao in 2019.
The match was scored a 12 round draw, but a lot of people thought Falcao deserved the win.
“I’m hoping to fight for a world championship by the end of the year,” said Munguia to Fighthype. “Of course, he is a great fighter and if there’s an opportunity for that fight, I know it’s going to be a really good fight,” said Munguia when asked if he’d be interested in fighting #1 WBO Zhanibek Alimkhanuly.
“I don’t think that fight will happen. I think it’s a little bit premature just because Canelo is doing different things at 168 and above the fight,” said Munguia when asked about the possibility of fighting Alvarez in September in Mexico.
“I’d rather consolidate at 160, but I’m open to it [fighting Canelo] if there’s a really good proposal from Canelo and his team. I would definitely consider it,” said Munguia.
It makes sense for Munguia not to hold his breath waiting for a fight against Canelo because the odds of that happening are practically zero.
Munguia is coming off a competitive 12 round unanimous decision win over Gabriel Rosado last November. It was s a good showing against the aging 36-year-old Rosado.
In Munguia’s other fights at middleweight, he’s beaten these fighters:
- Kamil Szeremeta
- Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan
- Tureano Johnson
“Charlo is a really great fighter, so you don’t know how that’s going to go,” said Munguia, when asked about who he thinks, will win in a fight between Canelo and Jermall Charlo. “Anything can happen and it’ll probably be a really good fight to watch.
“I respect his opinion, and he probably says that because he doesn’t want to divide the Mexican fanbase,” said Munguia reacting to Canelo having said that he doesn’t wish to fight other Mexican fighters.
“There has been a time when Mexican fighters have fought against each other like [Marco Antonio] Barrera and [Erik] Morales and the fanbase got split. He [Canelo] probably doesn’t want to do that because he wants to represent Mexico.
“If the opportunity arises where there’s the best in their respective divisions, then sometimes those fights are inevitable. Yes, of course, I would like my next fight to be a world championship fight, but first and foremost, I’m concentrating on this fight against Ballard.
“You have to really respect him and give him his place for this fight. I feel like I’m one of the best at 160 because he is a very exciting fighter. People like my style, and they like to watch me.
“I feel like I have good abilities and am still growing as a fighter. At this point, I feel like I’m one of the best at 160,” said Munguia.