Jaime Munguia: From Human Sacrifice to World Champ?

By Paul Magno on May 2, 2018
Jaime Munguia: From Human Sacrifice to World Champ?
Jaime Munguia will now challenge for a world title he has a chance in hell of winning.

Now that he has avoided becoming a human sacrifice at the altar of Triple G, he’ll have a chance at developing into the fighter he was meant to be…

Twenty-one-year-old Tijuana prospect Jaime Munguia was one commission green light away from possibly having his career ended before it could ever really begin. Offered a life-changing 750K as a late replacement Mexican in a Gennady Golovkin one-man Cinco de Mayo show, the deal was too good to turn down.

Team Golovkin, in an uncharacteristic loosening of their purse strings, made the quarter of a million dollar offer to Munguia in a last ditch effort to save a May 5 Las Vegas pay-per-view date left dangling in the wind when original opponent Canelo Alvarez, facing a suspension for a dirty PEDs test, withdraw from their mega-bucks rematch.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), however, rejected Munguia—who has zero main stage experience and was competing at welterweight as recently as last year—as an unsuitable opponent for the three-belt middleweight champ.

As things may turn out, the commission’s err on the side of safety (and human decency) might be in the ultimate best interest of Munguia and his professional future.

Powered by the buzz generated from his tie-in to a Golovkin bout, the Mexican prospect came to HBO’s mind when WBO junior middleweight champ Sadam Ali lost his opponent for the May 12 first defense of the belt he won from Miguel Cotto last December. Replacing Brit Liam Smith, who withdrew from the bout due to “illness,” Munguia will now challenge for a world title he has a chance in hell of winning. Despite inflated rankings by the WBO and WBC of #4 and #7 at 154 lbs., respectively, Munguia will be fighting at a more natural weight and facing a smallish junior middleweight with a fair share of flaws and weaknesses. 

The 29-year-old Ali, a 2008 U.S. Olympian, scored a major upset when he beat Cotto via unanimous decision and is still seen by many as a transitional belt holder rather than a bona fide champ in a division where Jarrett Hurd, Jermell Charlo, and Erislandy Lara reign supreme. Considered a more natural welterweight, Ali, as talented as he is, never even distinguished himself as a top level 147-pounder before winning the 154 lb. title. A 2016 TKO loss to Jessie Vargas still looms large in Ali’s recent past.

Munguia will enter this title fight the underdog—and rightfully so—but he has a fair shot at pulling off the upset and, win or lose, is young enough to learn from this main stage HBO-televised experience.

A former gold medalist in Mexico’s national championships, Munguia has a solid amateur pedigree and also benefits from being a second generation fighter whose father, Jaime Sr., was a heavyweight journeyman best known for KO losses to former NFL star Alonzo Highsmith and Saul Montana. In his short time as a pro, Jaime Jr. has sparred with names such as Antonio Margarito, Jose Uzcategui, and Carlos Ocampo. So, although not at all ready for a bigger, stronger, more seasoned buzzsaw like Golovkin, Munguia is not without a legitimate up side.

And now that he has avoided becoming a human sacrifice at the altar of Triple G, he’ll have a chance at developing properly into the fighter he was meant to be.

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  1. Lucas McCain 12:24pm, 05/02/2018

    Nobel Peace Prize to NSAC on this one

  2. Balaamsass 07:36am, 05/02/2018

    Speaking of human sacrifice…looks like he has more Aztec blood than even Fernando Vargas!

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