Power seduces and sometimes reduces the owner to a state of power-lessness that comes as a surprise.
Murat Gassiev has been able to have his way with foes till today, when his punching power was rendered moot by a mobile technician, Alexander Usyk.
Hours later, another power hitter, Jaime Munguia (30-0), had to do more boxing than many fans had thought, when he matched with Brit Liam Smith on HBO’s platform, from Las Vegas.
Kid has bricks for hands, many thought after seeing him damage Sadam Ali months ago. But the bricks looked more like regulation fists against Smith….yet, as the rounds progressed, the bricks were back. And still, Smith made it to the final bell.
So, maybe bricks aren't the best definition for what Munguia throws. Hard puncher, but not an all-star in the power department. And yet, he did get the win; after 12, by scores of 116-111, 119-111, 119-108, Munguia snagged the W.
Smith started out solid, taking some early round, but then lagged some. Down went Smith (26-2-1) in round seven at the Hard Rock and he had to work hard to defend against the 21 year old Mexican banger.
In the 9th, Munguia pressed hard to get that stoppage. No, Munguia is no smooth operator, a technical wiz. But while awkward, he’s able to stay balanced enough to be able to add a third punch to a sequence. In the tenth, we saw Munguia stalking, with Smith eating, but staying aloft, and doing some countering. Harold Lederman had it 8-1 to this point, and Max Kellerman 6-3.
To round 11, we wondered, could Munguia close out the show, keep up his rep as a fearsome smasher? After all, Canelo had ended Smith early when they met up…
Smith had some moments in ten and 11. He grinned while Munguia hurled catapult rocks at him. In round 12, the two hugged before the round started. They were both tired but still energized enough to hurl and the frame had solid action. Yep, Smith made it to the final bell, and with that, the chatter of Mungia being a ridiculously strong puncher dropped back two notches.
Here is the release Golden Boy sent out after the event:
“I don't think he's a much better fighter than me,” said Liam Smith. “It was the body shots that hurt me. I wanted the title I lost two years ago. I want to stay more active than before. I'm usually known for my fitness, but was I winded in this fight. I felt my skill level made the difference in certain parts.”