Former junior middleweight beltholder Jaime Munguia made his middleweight debut a successful one on Saturday, halting fringe contender Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan in the 11th round of their scheduled 12-round main event in San Antonio.
Munguia (35-0, 28 KOs), who made five defenses of his WBO 154-pound title, outworked and outjabbed the game and rugged Irishman and also dished out a lot of body shots (although enough of those strayed below O’Sullivan’s beltline that he was penalized a point in Round 6).
This was Munguia’s second fight with hall-of-famer Erik Morales as his head coach and subtle technical improvements were evident, especially the 23-year-old Tijuana native’s jab.
However, The Ring’s 2018 Prospect of the Year still looks like a work-in-progress.
Munguia’s victory over O’Sullivan (30-4, 21 KOs), who had only previously lost to Billy Joe Saunders, Chris Eubank Jr. and David Lemieux, was solid enough to make him a lower top-10 or 15 middleweight contender, and his popularity and fan-friendly style makes him a marketable opponent for the elite 160 pounders.
Yet, he would be considered an underdog against the likes of Ring champ Canelo Alvarez and the major titleholders (Gennadiy Golovkin, Demetrius Andrade and Jermell Charlo).
In the co-featured bout of the DAZN show, unified women’s super middleweight titleholder Franchon Crews Dezurn (6-2, 2 KOs) lost her WBC and WBO belts to Alejandra Jimenez (13-0-1, 9 KOs), a former WBC heavyweight titleholder.
The two super middleweights went at it for the 10-round distance, but while most observers viewed the bout as a toss-up or Crews Dezurn as a close points victor, Jimenez won a split decision by scores of 98-92, 97-93, 93-97.
As can be expected, Crews Dezurn, whose only other loss was a decision to three-division titleholder and Ring middleweight champ Claressa Shields, wants a rematch.