Mexican star makes a statement in first crack at a title
Sometimes in the sport of boxing when one opportunity closes another one appears, Saturday night on HBO Sadam Ali (26-2, 14 ko’s) put his WBO 154lb title against Jaime Munguia (29-0, 25 ko’s) and what a performance it was by both men.
Ali won the title from Miguel Cotto last year in December by accepting the biggest challenge of his career, moving up from welterweight to Jr. middleweight. Many felt the Brooklynite could be out of his depth but he proved he was up for the challenge. Winning the 154lb title made up for his loss to Jessie Vargas back in 2016.
Munguia, some may remember was going to be a replacement contender for Canelo Alvarez who was suspended, because of a failed PED test. Gennady Golokin still determined to fight May 5th decided on Munguia, however the Nevada State Athletic Commission refused to rubber stamp his approval. Claiming that even being undefeated he never fought anyone of Golovkin stature.
Yet as fate would have it Munguia would get another opportunity for a title in his own division of 154lb after an injury occurred to Liam Smith. The former champion from the UK was set to face Ali but pulled out so this was an opportunity that Munguia wasn’t going to let get away from him a second time.
From the opening bell there was an obvious huge height, reach and power advantage for Munguia as he came out looking to make a statement. Surviving a brutal first round Ali refused to quit and showed his championship heart.
There were times where Ali even had good moments but Munguia was just too much and in the fourth after a left hook landed sending Ali to the canvas the ref stopped it and Munguia went from challenger to champion.
The junior middleweight division has quickly become a division that can make a serious impact this year with champions like Munguia as well as Jarrett Hurd and Jermell Charlo.
By: Garrisson “Bo” Bland