Avila Perspective, Chap. 283: The Battle for Mexico and More Fight News


By David A. Avila

Prepare for Mexican war.

Guadalajara’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) fights Tijuana’s Jaime Munguia (43-0, 34 KOs) in another Mexican war on Saturday, May 4, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. PPV.COM and Prime pay-per-view will stream the card.

“I’m going to win, I’m going to prevail and it’s going to be decisive,” said Alvarez, a four-division world titlist. “I’m different. I’m Canelo.”

Munguia reveres Canelo.

“Outside the ring he has all my respect,” Munguia said. “Inside the ring, respect goes out the window. And that’s what is going to happen on Saturday night.”

If you know Mexican history, wars between different regions of that country took place even before Hernando Cortes arrived with his Spanish Conquistadores.

During the Mexican Revolution that began in 1910 you had Porfirio Diaz, Francisco Madero, Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata and then came Victoriano Huerta, Venustiano Carranza, Pascual Orozco, and Alvaro Obregon as players.

Fighting between regions in Mexico is not a new thing.

In boxing the 1960s brought those Mexican wars to California with guys like Vicente Saldivar, Cuban exile Sugar Ramos, Chango Carmona, and in the 70s Chucho Castillo, Jesus Pimentel, and the great Ruben Olivares.

Perhaps the two greatest battles between Mexican warriors saw Carlos Zarate and Alfonso Zamora battle in the Inglewood Forum. Both Mexican bantamweights held world titles and each were undefeated with all knockouts.

It was a madhouse that April night in 1977. During the action a wannabe wrestler jumped into the boxing ring during the action and was tossed out like a rag doll by a security gang. When Zarate eventually knocked out Zamora in the fourth, Zamora’s father chased after Zarate’s trainer Cuyo Hernandez right there. Explosions from cherry bombs rocked the arena and a mini riot took place.

Later, in the 80s and 90s, we saw Julio Cesar Chavez batter fellow Mexican sluggers like Jose Luis Ramirez, Rafael “Bazooka” Limon and then Miguel Angel Gonzalez who fought the great Julio Cesar Chavez to a draw in Mexico City.

These battles between Mexicans are never easy.

Canelo has been the top Mexicano for the past 10 years and among the best pound-for-pound fighters for just as long. In his career that began when he was a mere 15 years old, he’s reached heights never before attained by any other Mexican fighter.

His three wars with Gennady “GGG” Golovkin will be etched in history as among the best. His last fight eight months ago saw the redhead dominate Jermell Charlo for a win by unanimous decision.

Alvarez has one of the best chins in boxing history.

Munguia arrived like a burglar in the night. He was unceremoniously packed off to fight New Yorker Sadam Ali for the WBO super welterweight title in a New York card. Ali had just beaten the great Miguel Cotto for the title and was expected to have a long run. His first defense was against little-known Munguia and he was bludgeoned by the tall Mexican in four rounds.

The surprise win by Tijuana’s Munguia made him the toast of the country. He was barely 20 and many liked his easy-going manner and will to destroy once the bell rang. After his fifth title defense it was apparent he could not make 154 pounds anymore and moved up. Five fights later he could not make 160 pounds. Now he’s at 168 pounds but one man holds all the belts and that’s fellow countryman Canelo Alvarez.

Like Canelo, Munguia has one of the best chins in boxing.

“Canelo is a great fighter with experience against great fighters,” Munguia said. “But what I have is youth on my side.”

Since working under Erik Morales and now Freddie Roach, his technique in defensive skills has improved dramatically from his days as a super welterweight. Back then Munguia would take a sledge-hammer blow or two and then return with a barrage of his own.

Last year Munguia fought the feared Sergiy Derevyanchenko through 12 of the most savage rounds ever seen. It was the Fight of the Year and established the Tijuana fighter as someone worthy of watching.

“You can expect a full-out Mexican war,” said Munguia during the press conference on Wednesday.

“I’m very proud to be here and to make history with both Mexican fighters fighting for the four belts for the first time,” said Alvarez the undisputed super middleweight champion.

Although this is a battle between Mexicans the whole boxing world will be watching.


Jim Lampley leads his crew again on the Canelo-Munguia fight card on Saturday May 4. The famed boxing analyst will be doing a play-by-play of the fights and also participating via text. Accompanying him will be Lance Pugmire, Chris Algieri and Dan Canobbio.

During the past nine months they’ve covered several of the best boxing cards. Lampley has a unique style and has covered the biggest fight events in the past five decades.

Riverside Fights

Undefeated middleweight prospect Raul Lizarraga leads a Red Boxing card on Friday May 3, at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium in downtown Riverside, Calif.

Lizarraga (12-0, 12 KOs) meets Puerto Rico’s Marcos Osorio-Betancourt (11-1-1, 8 KOs) in the main event for a regional title. There are seven other bouts tentatively scheduled. Doors open at 5 p.m. For tickets go to Ticketmaster.com.

Monster Inoue

Japan’s Naoya “Monster” Inoue (26-0, 23 KOs) defends the super bantamweight championship against Mexico’s Luis “Pantera” Nery (35-1, 27 KOs) on Monday. May 6, at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo. ESPN + will stream the Top Rank card that begins at 1 a.m.

Many rate Inoue the top fighter pound-for-pound. His destruction of titleholders Marlon Tapales and Stephen Fulton were clear samples of his overall superiority in his weight division. At 31, he faces two-division champion Nery who recently engaged in a riveting battle against Azat Hovhannisyan in Southern California.

The card also features three other world title bouts.

Fights to Watch

Sat. PPV.Com, Prime PPV 5 p.m. Saul Alvarez (60-2-2) vs Jaime Munguia (43-0). Brandon Figueroa (24-1-1) vs Jesse Magdaleno (29-2); Mario Barrios (28-2) vs Fabian Maidana (22-2); Eimantas Stanionis (14-0) vs Gabriel Maestre (6-0-1).

Mon. ESPN+ 1 a.m. Naoya Inoue (26-0) vs Luis Nery (35-1); Jason Moloney (27-2) vs Yoshiki Takei (8-0); Takuma Inoue (19-1) vs Sho Ishida (34-3); Seigo Yuri Akui (19-2-1) vs Taku Kuwahara (13-1).