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Avila Perspective, Chap. 189: Munguia, Yokasta, Berlanga and More

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  • Avila Perspective, Chap. 189: Munguia, Yokasta, Berlanga and More

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    By David A. Avila

    Mexico’s Jaime Munguia returns to Anaheim where currently the hometown baseball club endured a 14-game losing streak. Is this a bad omen?

    Munguia (39-0, 31 KOs) seeks to remain undefeated when he meets Jimmy “Kilrain” Kelly (26-2, 10 KOs) in a middleweight clash at the Honda Center on Saturday June 11. DAZN will stream the Golden Boy Promotions card.

    Ever since the hard-hitting fighter from Tijuana agreed to train under the supervision of Erik “El Terrible” Morales, the skill level of Munguia has increased including usage of the subtle but effective feints.

    Against the heady and tough Gabe Rosado, the use of feints and slips allowed him to navigate through the myriad set of traps by the Boricua fighter when they fought in Anaheim last November. It was almost startling to see.

    But if you had ever seen “Terrible” Morales perform in the 90s and 2000s, the use of feints was a trademark and effective tool during his reign of terror. Now he’s passing on that knowledge to Munguia.

    Will it be enough?

    Now that Munguia has grown into a full-fledged middleweight, his adamantium chin can only take him so far.

    United Kingdom’s Kelly becomes the third from that nation to test the mighty Mexican when they meet on Saturday. Dennis Hogan and Liam Smith gave it a go years earlier against the 25-year-old Munguia.

    “I know some fighters have taken an aggressive approach and perhaps they have played into the hands of Munguia. Perhaps a loose approach is something to look at,” said Kelly from Lancashire, England. “I have been waiting for a good opportunity to happen. When the phone rang, even though it was only four weeks' notice, I decided to do it.”

    Anything can happen in prizefighting.

    “I have to be careful with Kelly. I know he is coming with nothing to lose and everything to gain so I have to make sure not to let my guard down on Saturday,” said Munguia who seeks to extend his undefeated streak to 40.

    Maybe a Munguia 40-fight undefeated fight streak can rub off on the suddenly woeful Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. They are right across the freeway.

    Yokasta Valle

    Also added this week to the Golden Boy fight card will be IBF minimumweight titlist Yokasta Valle (24-2, 9 KOs) defending against Orange County’s Lorraine Villalobos (5-3, 2 KOs) in a 10-round title fight.

    Valle, 29, hails from Costa Rica and has been one of the top female fighters in the light flyweight and minimumweight division for the past five years. She recently signed a four-fight deal with Golden Boy Promotions and was quickly added to the fight card.

    “It’s a dream come true to fight on Golden Boy Promotions,” Valle said. “I want all the belts.”

    Her only losses were to Naoko Fujioka who recently lost to Marlen Esparza in a close decision not reflected by the judges, and the other loss was to Germany’s Tina Rupprecht by decision in Munich.

    Orange County fighter Villalobos presents a dangerous situation if prepared well enough. She can crack and nearly knocked out Australia’s very good Louisa Hawton when they fought a second time in December 2019. That fight stole the show on Showtime in Brooklyn.

    NY Minute

    Edgar Berlanga (19-0, 16 KOs) seeks to regain his knockout touch when he meets Colombia’s Roamer Angulo (27-2, 23 KOs) in defense of his regional super middleweight title on Saturday June 11, at the Hulu Theater Madison Square Garden. ESPN will televise the Top Rank card.

    Berlanga had a 16-fight knockout streak snapped a year ago and since that night three opponents heard the final bell. He’s not getting a break against Angulo who was only stopped by David Benavidez.

    It’s a solid test for Berlanga.

    Don King’s heavyweight

    Trevor Bryan (22-0, 15 KOs) defends a version of the WBA heavyweight title against England’s Daniel Dubois (17-1, 16 KOs) on Saturday June 11 at Casino Miami Jai-Alai. It will be shown via pay-per-view on or at at 12:30 p.m. PT.

    Anytime Don King sponsors a heavyweight you know that fighter has talent. The last time Bryan stepped in the ring there was a hurricane going on outside and inside the arena when he defeated the crafty Jonathan Guidry by split decision. It won’t be an easy fight against Dubois whose only loss was to Joe Joyce.

    The Brits have taken over the heavyweight division and Bryan gets to test himself against one of its top contenders. It should be interesting.

    “This young man is undefeated, and his dream has been to stay a world champion,” said longtime promoter Don King. “Yesterday’s nobody becomes tomorrow’s somebody. Let me bring up this young man here, the WBA heavyweight champion of the world, Trevor ‘The Dream’ Bryan.”

    Undisputed Haney

    Las Vegas lightweight Devin Haney now claims all of the lightweight division world titles after defeating Australia’s George Kambosos Jr. last weekend in that continent. He graduated from email champ to undisputed in one single night.

    Behind a lightning jab and twinkle toe movement, Haney was able to befuddle Kambosos who despite having the hometown advantage just could not figure out the formula.

    Haney’s journey has been a harrowing one since he first fought pro in the nightclubs and auditoriums of Tijuana, Mexico. In any one of those fights he could have lost as many others have discovered. Fighting in TJ is like playing Russian Roulette.

    The slim speedster also willingly accepted challenges against Jorge Linares and Jojo Diaz two active and very talented former world champions. Haney easily could have slipped and fell against either fighter.

    Of course, fans complained about his hit-and-run style. But that is up to the foes to figure out the remedy to stop him.

    Ryan Garcia, a current lightweight contender and former adversary in the amateurs said the antidote for Haney’s style is simple.

    “Don’t chase him. Just let him come to you,” said Garcia.

    Monster Mash

    Japan’s Naoya “Monster” Inoue took no chances in his rematch with Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire last Tuesday and stopped him in less than two rounds to add the WBC bantamweight title to the IBF and WBA collection he already had.

    If you witnessed their first encounter you understood the reason why Inoue was in a hurry. Their first clash saw both fighters hurt each other and Donaire seemed to adapt the longer the fight lasted.

    Many are convinced Inoue is one of the top five fighters pound-for-pound in the world. When it comes to excitement, he has no peer.

    A unification match for undisputed status is feasible if WBO bantamweight titlist Paul Butler and his promotion company can reach an agreement with Top Rank. If not, the Monster can always move up a weight division.

    Super Bantams

    Philadelphia’s Stephen Fulton took the challenge nobody else wanted and defeated former super bantamweight champion Danny Roman by unanimous decision. Though it wasn’t the slugfest many expected, it was interesting to see Fulton defend the WBC and WBO titles.

    Fulton used his quickness to evade the usually non-stop punching of Roman who had lost the WBA and IBF titles by a disputed decision to Murodjon Akhmadaliev two years ago. Only in the last three rounds did Fulton fully engage and he still handled Roman.

    Now the Philly fighter seeks a unification bout with Akhmadaliev to determine the undisputed super bantamweight world champion.

    Fights to Watch (all times Pacific Time)

    Fri. DAZN 5 p.m. Hiroto Kyoguchi vs Esteban Bermudez

    Fri. Showtime 9 p.m. Bakhodir Jalolov (10-0) vs Jack Mulowayi (11-2-1).

    Sat. 12:30 p.m. Trevor Bryan (22-0) vs Daniel Dubois (17-1).

    Sat. ESPN 4:10 p.m. Edgar Berlanga (19-0) vs Roamer Angulo (27-2).

    Sat. DAZN 5 p.m. Jaime Munguia (39-0) vs Jimmy Kelly (26-2); Yokasta Valle (24-2) vs Lorraine Villalobos (5-3).

  • #2
    Berlanga needs plenty of work. Must learn to counter and double jab. He was stalked the entire fight. IMO, the scores were dreadful.