Munguia Retains Jr. Middleweight Championship

By Marc Livitz on January 26, 2019
Munguia Retains Jr. Middleweight Championship
Munguia found more boxing gold with his hard left hooks and straight rights. (DAZN)

Jaime Munguia busted and bruised his way to a resounding unanimous decision victory over a game and tough Takeshi Inoue…

Houston, Texas—WBO Junior Middleweight world champion Jaime Munguia busted and bruised his way to a resounding unanimous decision victory over a game and tough Takeshi Inoue at the Toyota Center in downtown Houston, Texas in the main event of a DAZN fight card put on by Golden Boy Promotions.

Referee Mark Calo-oy had to separate the two men early after a bull rush inwards from Inoue resulted in a clinch. The Japanese challenger forced Munguia (32-0, 26 KO’s) into the ropes a few seconds later. Although he easily made the junior middleweight limit of 154 pounds on Friday, Jaime appeared well hydrated and noticeably larger in addition to already holding a four-inch advantage in height. Takeshi continued his aggressive tactics as the second was underway. Jaime countered and went to the body, which he preceded by way of his hard left jab.

Inoue (13-1-1, 7 KO’s) looked to find success with wide, looping rights, yet Jaime easily took whatever he had and continued to jab and jab away. Takeshi’s over-the-top style of punches resulted in three connects late in the third, which Munguia gladly answered with body shots. Halfway into round four, Jaime caught his Tokyo opponent with a short right uppercut. Takeshi grinned at him and proceeded to end the round on the attack. He pinned Jaime to the ropes and tagged him with a few loud hits.

Inoue found some more success in round five with what had worked for him moments earlier. He forced Munguia into the ropes and applied the pressure. Jaime had an answer. His punches were harder, yet they didn’t appear to make Takeshi reconsider his position. Munguia was easily landing more punches overall. After absorbing another wild shot to the top of his head, he fired back with an uppercut that snapped Inoue’s head back in the sixth.

The back and forth contest ebbed and flowed in the seventh, mistakenly highlighted with a signature right by Takeshi after the bell had sounded. Munguia began the eighth appearing as though he’d had enough of Inoue and wanted to end the night for him. It only lasted so long. The Japanese contender pressed and connected as before with the overhand shots. Jamie stayed on his toes and ended the round with a nice 1-2-3 combination up high.

Four rounds to go. Munguia used the ring to goad Inoue into walking into his counter shots. The last few moments saw them against the ropes and ended with a crisp left hook from the champion. The championship rounds were coming. Jaime connected with two hard lefts to the head, the both of which brought another grin from the Tokyo fighter.

Munguia was dong all he could to slow him. Shots to the arms and waist. Inoue didn’t care. A quick combination of pummeling head shots likely won the round for Jaime. Takeshi’s knee appeared to touch the canvas, but no knockdown was counted. The crowd came alive to full degree. Did Jaime get the upper hand he was working so hard to capture?

The battle continued into round eleven. Munguia was still able to bounce on his toes and use the ring with Takeshi still in constant chase. They touched gloves to begin the last three minutes. Inoue didn’t give up the pursuit and his Tijuana opponent found more boxing gold with his hard left hooks and straight rights. Jaime was now standing almost completely straight up as he threw his punches.

The bell sounded and mutual respect was shown in a friendly half embrace. Jaime appeared to have done more than enough to retain his belt, but the judges held the answer. Levi Martinez scored it 119-109, while Javier Alvarez and Cesar Ramos each saw it at 120-108 to award the unanimous decision win to Jaime Munguia.

“It was a great fight and he was a great warrior,” Jaime said. “I learned he was strong. He did great but I got hit in the back of the head.” In regard to remaining at 154 pounds as opposed to moving up to middleweight, he commented, “I’ll accept any challenge.”

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