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 Avila Perspective, Chap. 236: Jaime Munguia and More

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  •  Avila Perspective, Chap. 236: Jaime Munguia and More

    By David A. Avila

    LOS ANGELES-Mexican middleweight Jaime Munguia arrived in the swanky Golden Boy headquarters with his small entourage to greet a regiment of boxing journalists on Thursday to discuss his upcoming clash with Sergiy Derevyanchenko..

    It’s Mexico versus Ukraine in the boxing ring.

    An energetic Munguia seemed almost giddy about facing Derevyanchenko at the Toyota Center in Ontario, Calif. next month on June 10. The middleweight battle promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Zanfer Promotions will be streamed on DAZN.

    For a couple of years Tijuana’s Munguia has been chasing middleweight champions to no avail. Whether it was Jermell or Jermall Charlo or fellow Mexican Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, the undefeated former super welterweight champion out-grew the division and could not find a foe.

    It was like to trying grasp a cloud.

    Ukraine’s Derevyanchenko has a similar story. Though he’s lost four times he’s never been stopped. Whether it was Gennady Golovkin or Daniel Jacobs no one can claim they knocked out the Ukrainian fighter.

    "When Derevyanchenko fought Daniel Jacobs, Carlos Adames, when he fought GGG and all these fighters at 160 and 168, he was in do-or-die fights with them. People know that Derevyanchenko comes to fight,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO of Golden Boy.

    Munguia versus Derevyanchenko is a perfect matchup.

    Ever since Tijuana’s legendary champion Erik Morales began tutoring Munguia on the art of boxing, the skill level has been evident. No longer is he merely a punching machine with a jaw of iron.

    For the past several years Munguia has learned how to avoid punches and use distance and timing to set up foes for his powerful blows. The improvement has been starkly noticeable.

    He will need it against Derveyanchenko.

    The Ukrainian is known as “the Technician” and he’s proved to be very adept at trading blows against the biggest punchers and coming out on top.

    “It's definitely not going to be an easy fight for either of us," said Derevyanchenko via Zoom.

    Derevyanchenkp and Munguia will test their skills and chin against each other in Ontario, California. For the past several years this location has served as a base for many great champions including Jermell Charlo’s knockout win to regain the super welterweight title against Tony Harrison in December 2019.

    One thing about Munguia, he looks for the knockout. Always.

    “After this fight, whether it is GGG or Charlo, Munguia is ready to fight. Whoever is out there in his weight class, we are willing to fight," said Fernando Beltran of Zanfer.

    Top Rank

    Once again Northern California becomes the center of attention for Top Rank.

    Two world title fights led by WBO middleweight titlist Zhanibek Alimkhanuly (13-0, 8 KOs) defending against Steven Butler (32-3-1, 26 KOs) hit Stockton, Calif. on Saturday May 13, at Stockton Arena. ESPN will televise.

    “I’m very excited. This is my second defense. I prepared very well for this fight. I don’t want to just defend my title. I want to unify titles. I think it’s going to be a great fight this Saturday night,” said Alimkhanuly.

    Also, Australia’s Jason Moloney (25-2, 19 KOs) and Philippine’s Vincent Astrolabio (18-3, 13 KOs) clash for the vacant WBO bantamweight title. This is Moloney’s third world title attempt after stumbling against Naouya Inoue and Emmanuel Rodriguez. Astrolabio has a big win over Guillermo Rigondeaux including a big knockdown.

    New Top Rank signee Ruben Villa (19-1) who gave Emanuel Navarrete problems in their featherweight world title fight appears on the undercard as does Amado Vargas (6-0), the son of Fernando Vargas, who returns for his second fight under Top Rank.

    TGB Promotions

    Rolly Romero (14-1, 12 KOs) returns and finds a late replacement in Venezuela’s hard-hitting Ismael Barroso (24-3-2, 22 KOs) facing him for a version of the WBA super lightweight title on Saturday May, 13, at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Showtime will televise the TGB Promotions card.

    Romero’s original foe Alberto Puello was forced off the card after failing VADA testing for PEDs. Barroso has replaced Puello.

    “I think Barroso is actually a better fighter than Alberto Puello, because he can actually crack. Any time you’re in a fight with a puncher, you know it’s gonna be difficult,” said Romero at the press conference this week. “I’m not underestimating him. I know he can hit and he’s a little tricky. He throws a good straight left that comes out of nowhere that he’s been getting guys with. So, I’m definitely not underestimating him.”

    The winner will probably face the winner of the undisputed super lightweight world championship between Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez that takes place next month in New York City.

    Fights to Watch

    Fri. FITE.TV 4 p.m. Kim Clavel (16-1) vs Naomi Arellano (9-2).

    Sat. Showtime 6 p.m. Rolando Romero (14-1) vs Ismael Barroso (24-3-2).

    Sat. ESPN 7 p.m. Zhanibek Alimkhanuly (13-0) vs Steven Butler (32-3-1).

    Photo credit: Al Applerose