Munguia Stops O’Sullivan in Middleweight Debut
By Gary Kittilsen
It was an electric atmosphere in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. As one of Oscar De La Hoya ‘s and Golden Boys’ brightest stars took the stage.
Jaime Munguia came out to a massive ovation in the packed Texas arena and the Tijuana native did not disappoint.
Passing his first test at middleweight with flying colours, the former super welterweight champ scored an 11th-round TKO victory over a game Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan of Cork, Ireland in what was a high action slugfest.
Munguia came out aggressively and seized control late in the first staggering the Irishman at the very end of the opening round with a left hook and a series of right hands.
The rugged O’Sullivan battled back in round two and had his best moment in the early going with a left hook that seemingly woke Munguia up and let the Mexican know that he was going to be in a fight.
Munguia dominated the third round and had O’Sullivan against the ropes looking for a possible finish when suddenly Spike landed a left hook followed by two right hands that stopped the young Mexican in his tracks.
O’Sullivan may have shifted the momentum in the fourth as the Irishman came out with a sense of confidence in the fourth round landing a stiff jab and right hand and was able to push his younger opponent into the ropes and connected with solid body shots.
However, that momentum seemed to fade in the middle rounds. Although the Irishman was able to land some good shots he was being systematically broken down by the bigger, younger, stronger Munguia who could not miss with the right hand and left hook.
By the 9th round, the spring in O’Sullivan’s step was gone and although he hung in valiantly, the writing was on the wall as he had no answers for the offensive onslaught from the Tijuanian.
The end came abruptly a few rounds later in the eleventh as a flurry of power shots sent a beaten O’Sullivan reeling across the ring and forced the Irishmen’s corner to throw in the towel and give the 23-year Munguia his first win in his middleweight reign and move his record to a perfect 25-0.
On the undercard, two young San Antonians put on sensational performances for their hometown fans.
Joshua Franco scored a ninth-round knockout over Jose Alejandro Burgos to move his record to 16-1-2 (8) after a slow start Franco picked up the pace and dominated the action after the first few rounds. Nearly stopping Burgos in the seventh and finishing his man off two rounds later with a barrage of power shots that caused the referee to step in and call a halt to the bout. The Texan landed an impressive 162 of 305 power shots (53.1%). It was Franco’s first fight at 115 since late 2017.
Fellow San Antonio native Hector Tanajara scored a unanimous decision victory over tough Mexican veteran Juan Carlos Burgos in what was a one-sided dominating performance by the young Texan.
Tanajara scored at will with sharp two and three punch combinations and avoided the return fire from Burgos. Tanajara was in control basically throughout, losing control for just a moment in the sixth round when he was deducted a point, after being warned by referee Wilfredo Esperon for hitting on the break.
Tanajara responded to what he felt wad excessive holding by Burgos with a shoulder bump and long right hand which drew a point deduction from the ref.
Otherwise, it was a near-perfect performance by Tanajara who took a lopsided unanimous decision by scores of 99-90 and 97-92 twice to move his record to 19-0.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos