Jaime Munguia vs Takeshi Inoue Preview
By Matthew Dean
At the Toyota Center on Saturday 26.1.19 Mexico versus Japan is the main event of the evening.
The “0” on one of the fighters records is at risk as Tijuana native Jaime Munguia (31-0-0. 26KOs) meets Takeshi Inoue (13-0-1. 7KOs) in a matchup to decide the holder of the WBO junior middleweight title.
Munguia 22 has appeared almost from nowhere and it can be credited to a busy 2018.
When Alvarez – Golovkin 2 was postponed last year due to Alvarez’ positive Clenbuterol result, Munguia was touted as a possible opponent for Golovkin. The sporting body presiding over the fight decided it would be too much of a mismatch, so they refused to let him test his skills.
Munguia wasn’t bitter about this missed opportunity though and he has publicly stated that he is happy with this decision as his career is better now.
However shortly afterwards due to Liam Smith withdrawing from his title fight vs. Sadam Ali, Munguia got another opportunity to shine on the big stage. He set about etching his name into boxing history by demolishing the 2008 Olympian in just 4 rounds and winning the WBO junior middleweight title in the process.
He has twice successfully defended the title, outpointing Liam Smith and stopping Brandon Cook in the 3rd.
This will be his third test against the less experienced Inoue, making his US debut and in only his second fight outside of his native Japan. He may have fewer fights behind him than the Mexican and also be 7 years his senior but he is ranked No 3 by the WBO and Munguia is taking him seriously
“Takeshi Inoue is a strong fighter. He comes forward a very brave fighter. He doesn’t mind taking a punch in order to land one. We have to be careful with that and come very prepared. We have to be careful with his right hand as well. The guy lets his hands go.“
Inoue is relishing this opportunity before him and is only respectful towards his opponent
“Fighting for a world title is something I’ve dreamed about. I’m really excited. With this fight, I can accomplish something people said was impossible,” Inoue acknowledged that “Munguia is a strong fighter with good punching, stamina and technique” but he firmly believes that he can match him.
With regards to the outcome, Inoue is a big underdog. Munguia is strongly favoured to come through and I feel confident that this will be most likely by stoppage. Munguia is the bigger man both in terms of height and physicality with heavier hands.
We shouldn’t at this point look too far ahead but what happens post fight is anyone’s guess whatever happens. Will Munguia choose to stay at the weight and face some of the other big names in the division – Jarrett Hurd (WBA champion), Tony Harrison (WBC champion), Erislandy Lara, Maciej Sulecki, or will the lure of Canelo & Golovkin be too much? Munguia is clearly destined to move up to the middleweight division. which could bring him back to face the foe he was previously denied or even the king of the current crop Canelo himself. The latter being theoretically a simple fight to make as both boxers fight under the Golden Boy banner.
Whether the Golden Boy team are happy to risk this matchup who knows? Both fighters are popular. And with the pride of the country at stake this could be an absolute classic! Would Munguia’s height and physical strength overwhelm the experience of Alvarez? Time alone will judge that.
In boxing anything can happen depending on the judges’ perspective or one perfectly timed punch and Munguia has to overcome Inoue first. He is clearly aware of this and stated
“We are preparing very well. I feel better and more motivated than ever before. I’m stronger than ever, and I will do my best to give the best fights for the people on this new platform, DAZN”.
Let’s get used to the name of Jaime Munguia. I think he is going to be around for some time and will certainly bring us some genuinely exciting fights whichever way his career takes him