Jaime Munguia is taking on a high-profile opponent Saturday night in Ontario, California (DAZN). Sergiy Derevyanchenko has lost to Gennadiy Golovkin and has been in close fights with Daniel Jacobs.
The two middleweights will battle for the WBC silver super middleweight title. Here are five things to watch for in the main event.
1. Derevyanchenko’s trainer is back
As promised, Munguia’s biggest test in the ring came against the dangerous Ukrainian world champion contender. Despite admitting that Derevyanchenko would be the toughest challenge in his ten-year career, Munguia was the one to come out on top after a 12-round fight.
Unlike the last time he faced a top-level opponent, Munguia did not fall victim to his own erratic style and instead focused on boxing. The former 154-pound champion looked to control the pace and landed power shots in combination. He also threw several left hooks upstairs and downstairs to keep his opponent on their heels.
In the championship rounds, Munguia picked up the pace and started to focus his attack on the body. In the eleventh, he hit paydirt with a big right cross that dropped Derevyanchenko to one knee.
Afterwards, Munguia received a call from Jose Benavidez Sr., father and trainer of super middleweight champion David Benavidez. The Mexican fighter wants to face the former junior middleweight champion next, but he’ll likely need to win a rematch against Derevyanchenko first. In the meantime, he’ll look to defend his title against Janibek Alimkhanuly, Carlos Adames, or Demetrius Andrade. All are talented opponents that will be a step up from the quality of opposition that Munguia has faced in the past.
2. Derevyanchenko’s speed
Jaime Munguia of Tijuana, Mexico could have played things much safer last Saturday night against Sergiy Derevyanchenko of Ukraine at the Toyota Center in Ontario, California. Instead, he threw caution to the wind and engaged in a wild fight-of-the-year contender that went twelve hard rounds before a crowd of 7,647 elated fans.
The first round began with both fighters trading power shots. Derevyanchenko landed a few jabs upstairs, but Munguia connected with left and right crosses to the head and body.
Munguia was able to keep his distance in the second round and used his superior footwork to stay on top of Derevyanchenko. He also landed a few jabs to the head and body of the Ukrainian.
By the sixth round, the fight was close on all three scorecards. However, in the eighth round, Munguia flipped the fight on its head with a brutal and debilitating body shot that dropped Derevyanchenko to his knees. The shot was so effective, that it flipped the cards in Munguia’s favor and earned him a unanimous decision victory. The scorecards were 115-112 (Lou Moret), 114-113 (Fernando Villarreal) and 114-113 (Rudy Barragan). With the win, Munguia improved to 10-0 with 12 knockouts.
3. Derevyanchenko’s power
The fight began in dramatic fashion with both men throwing hard shots to the head and body. Derevyanchenko was clearly hurt in round one but he held on for the remainder of the round.
Munguia started to gain traction in round two, landing some solid combinations to the body as he looked to establish control in the middle of the ring. The Jamaican-born Russell, who was fighting from a three-inch height disadvantage and gave up almost six inches in reach, did well to control the action with his boxing skills.
In the fifth, both fighters exchanged head-bobbling left hooks and landed solid uppercuts, but the tempo slowed down toward the end of the round as the two gassed themselves. A clash of heads momentarily stopped the action in round eight but the resumption of the bout was quick, with both men trading hard shots to the head and body.
Munguia seemed to be wearing down in the tenth, but he was still stalking Derevyanchenko and landed some solid right hands in close. A short combination backed by a left to the body had Derevyanchenko staggering backwards as he tried to find some space. A hard left hook to the face had him on his heels, but he was able to get to his feet and make it to the final bell.
4. Derevyanchenko’s defense
Despite Derevyanchenko’s experience in the ring, his defense remains one of his weakest points. He has been rocked by the likes of Golovkin, Jacobs and Charlo, all fighters who can pound away at him with ease. The reason for that is that he often moves backward in his stance when he’s under pressure and is susceptible to a counterpunch.
Against Munguia, he got caught with a left hook to the body early on that dropped him to one knee. After that, the Mexican pressed forward and started to attack the body. He also stepped up his output, catching the Ukrainian with a right cross in the 11th round.
Munguia is a talented boxer-puncher who is undoubtedly better at the middleweight division than he was at junior middleweight. He can now fight at a higher level and open doors to future fights against the likes of Golovkin or Jermall Charlo, both of whom he has spoken about in the past. As for Derevyanchenko, he will need to improve his defense and start to move more forward when he’s under pressure in the ring if he wants to stay relevant at middleweight. He is capable of competing with the best, but he needs to make some adjustments.
5. Munguia’s speed
With his high work rate, youth, and improved boxing skills Munguia is a real threat to the top names in the division. He has the potential to give guys like Charlo and Andrade a real problem with his power, hand speed, and combination punching.
Against Kelly, Munguia started the fight in full swing and looked to gain some momentum as the round went on. The Mexican began to land a lot of jabs and check left hooks from the outside, which had the former WBO world junior middleweight champion in trouble for significant stretches.
By the fifth round, however, Kelly was beginning to catch up. His left hand connected on a couple of occasions, and Munguia was taken to the ropes on two separate occasions by punches. The Irishman showed tremendous heart in regaining his balance and fighting back, and it was only when his corner threw in the towel that the bout came to a close.
6. Munguia’s power
Jaime Munguia needed a knockdown to get the fight his way and then went on to win a hard-fought decision over Sergiy Derevyanchenko in front of a partisan crowd at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. The two fighters were ranked in the top 10 of the middleweight division and both displayed exceptional power. They exchanged combustive combinations that seemed to shake the building.
Derevyanchenko landed a few hard left hands to begin the round but it wasn’t enough to stun Munguia. Munguia pressed him with jabs and hooks but was unable to catch him cleanly. The Mexican fought back with a right hand to the body and then a straight left to the face.
A big right from Munguia sends a dazed Derevyanchenko reeling backwards but he is saved by a counter left hand. The pair trade punches to end the round.
7. Munguia’s defense
It had been a long time since Munguia last fought an opponent that wasn’t a tomato can. The youngster was once a buzzsaw on the Baja California club circuit, but it’s been too many fights against fighters that were well below his skill set to help him ascend to the top of the sport. Munguia needs a signature win against an A-level competitor to keep fans on board as he heads for the summit of middleweight.
This is why a victory against Derevyanchenko could be so important for him. Defeating a veteran like the Ukrainian would give him the necessary confidence to call out the likes of Jermall Charlo and Gennadiy Golovkin.
This was a thrilling fight between two talented fighters that had the crowd at Toyota Arena in Ontario, CA, on the edge of their seats. The action began with a rocky first round as both men tried to assert themselves. Munguia landed some fierce body shots and even appeared to hit Derevyanchecko on the head, but that was ruled a push. The second round was much more evenly contested as both men traded a series of hard combinations. By the ninth round, Munguia looked tired and no longer unleashed the wild combinations that made him a force to be reckoned with in the opening rounds.