Mexican Munguia Takes Decision, Not A KO, From Smith on HBO



Mexican Munguia Takes Decision, Not A KO, From Smith on HBO

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:

LAS VEGAS (July 21, 2018): Jaime Munguia (30-0, 25 KOs) defended his WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship against former world champion Liam “Beefy” Smith (26-2-1, 14 KOs) via 12-round decision in the main event of HBO Boxing After Dark on Saturday, July 21 in front of 2470 fans at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas. Munguia scored a knockdown with a counter left hook in the sixth round of a back-and-forth battle in which the native of Tijuana, Mexico eventually won with scores of 116-111, 119-110, and 119-108.
“I feel good. I'm happy. I think that the people liked it,” said Jaime Munguia. “I didn't win by knockout like I always. This is the fifth decision win of my career. But I fought a good opponent who was strong. I came in very well prepared. There are no excuses and we will keep learning because this gave me a lot of experience. I'm only 21 years old and I will keep working in the gym. Liam Smith is a warrior. He is strong. There were times where I really landed punches, which really backed him up. He's very strong and can take a punch, so I have no excuses. I was always looking for the knockout. I always looked for the fight, and I went in there like a true Mexican. I think going these 12 rounds will serve me as experience.”

“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.”
Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (20-0, 16 KOs) of San Juan, Puerto Rico, retained his WBA Super Featherweight World Title by beating previously undefeated Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah (31-1, 23 KOs) of Accra, Ghana via 10-round unanimous decision in tonight's co-main event. Machado dropped Mensah with a hard right hook in the first round and hurt him several times en route to earning three scores of 120-107.
“Though I couldn't finish him, I'm happy I went all the rounds because it was an experience I hadn't had before,” said Alberto Machado. “I hurt my left hand early, so that's why I stopped throwing the left hand to the body. But I kept to the game plan that Freddie Roach had for me and used the jab and worked from a distance. I'd fight anyone. I have to talk with my promoter first, but I would like fight Francisco Vargas.”
“I got hurt early with a shot,” said Rafael Mensah.“It took four or five rounds for me to come back. He's a tall and lanky fighter and made it tough to come back.”
Yamagucho Falcao (16-0, 6 KOs) of Sao Paolo, Brazil scored a 10-round unanimous decision victory against Elias Espadas (17-4, 12 KOs) of Merida, Mexico in a middleweight bout. In what was very controversial battle, Falcao won with scores of 96-92, 96-92, and 95-93.
“We're very happy for the victory,” said Yamaguchi Falcao.“My opponent was very tough. We appreciate the opportunity with Golden Boy Promotions. There were several stoppages by the official that we feel were not warranted because Espadas was ducking and coming with his head down. We look forward to the next opportunity.
Puerto Rican prospect Carlos Caraballo (8-0, 8 KOs) passed his toughest test to date as he scored a fifth-round technical knockout win against Jesus Martinez (24-4, 12 KOs) of Monteria, Colombia in a super bantamweight battle originally slated for eight rounds. Caraballo fought a patient fight, wearing Martinez down until the fight was stopped by the referee at the end of the fifth round.
“From the first bell I knew that I could manage this fight,” said Carlos Caraballo. “I had him measured from the start. But I needed to fight intelligently because I knew he was a tough opponent. Right now I want to talk with my team to see what's next, but I'll be back soon.”
Las Vegas native Blair Cobbs (9-0-1, 5 KOs) scored a technical knockout victory at 1:52 of the second round against Emmanuel Valadez (5-5, 4 KOs) of Agua Prieta, Mexico in a scheduled six-round super welterweight fight.
“I felt great,” said Blair Cobbs. “I'm ready to move up. I'm ready to start calling out names. I'm ready to move up the ladder and one day be a contender in the welterweight division. We're just starting, but in the ring I said ‘now is the time.' I had just fought earlier this month, but I said ‘the time is now,' took a day of rest and came back.”
Munguia vs. Smith was a 12-round fight for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Zanfer Promotions and Frank Warren. Machado vs. Mensah was a 12-round fight for the WBA Super Featherweight World Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions in association with Don King Productions. The event was sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Casa Mexico Tequila. The event took place on Saturday, July 21, 2018 at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.