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Munguia Decisions, Doesn’t Show Much Improvement against Inoue in Exciting Fight
Jamie Munguia is going to need to improve his jab and defense if he wants to have a long, successful career, especially if he moves up to middleweight. However, for most of his fight against Takeshi Inoue Munguia was his old, brawling self which resulted in an exciting, back-and-forth fight.
Munguia tried to box more than usual, but looked awkward doing so, and his vaunted power was enough to hurt but never knock down, never mind come close to stopping Inoue. Ultimately, he would win a unanimous 120-108, 120-108, 119-109 decision, but questions about his future remain. Once again, Munguia was hit too much, and once again he was unable to finish an opponent he was clearly better than, as was the case against Liam Smith.
After the fight, Munguia praised Inoue’s ability to withstand his shots and continue fighting through them but didn’t seem to acknowledge his own limitations. Supposedly, Irish fighter Dennis Hogan is up next for Munguia. After almost every Munguia fight, the issues are the same; he’s too easy to hit, he’s not stopping the better fighters he faces, he couldn’t do this against the best middleweights in the world. If he doesn’t show some improvement against Hogan, the idea of Munguia as a future middleweight champion will become increasingly unlikely, and the big investment in him from DAZN and Golden Boy will look like far more of a gamble than originally thought.
Xu Can Beats Jesus Rojas and Eyes Chinese Stardom
Jesus Rojas isn’t going to need to worry about moving up in weight or consolidating his titles anymore after he was upset by China’s Xu Can via a unanimous 118-110, 117-111, 116-112 decision. Wearing a shirt that read “I can” into the ring, Xu did, simply outworking Rojas for most of the fight by throwing more punches though they were not the hardest of blows.
For Xu Can, rumors are he will be in line for a shot at Leo Santa Cruz. While he would be a huge underdog in that fight, if he won, he would become a huge star in his home nation and a huge asset for boxing. Because of the sheer amount of people in China, breaking into that market is a financial windfall for any sport. There’s a reason the basketball hall of fame inducted Yao Ming, who many considered unworthy of the honor. Every sport wants a star to break into the Chinese market, we’ll see if Xu Can is good enough to be that star for boxing.
Vergil Ortiz Jr. Stays Perfect With TKO Stoppage
Vergil Ortiz Jr. is now 12-0 with 12 knockouts after Jesus Valdez's corner stopped the fight before the start of the fifth round. To Valdez’s (and Ortiz’s) credit, he is the first opponent to make it past the third round against the 20-year-old super-prospect from Texas.
After the fight, Valdez made it clear he wanted a title shot at some point soon, possibly even in his next fight. While Golden Boy likely wants to take it slower, there hardly seems to be a point in doing so. Ortiz will be a star soon enough; the question is when Golden Boy wants to give him the star-making matchup he deserves.
Keith Thurman Fails to Impress in Decision Win Over Josesito Lopez
Coming off of a 22-month layoff, it was expected that Keith Thurman would show signs of ring rust against Josesito Lopez. However, with a potential fall PPV fight against Manny Pacquiao on the horizon, most people thought he would look better than that.
Thurman looked good early, dropping Lopez in the second round and dominating the early part of the fight. However, Lopez would not quit and Thurman tired and got stunned a couple of times in the middle rounds, including the seventh in which Thurman stumbled around the ring eating big right hands.
Ultimately, the “Riverside Rocky” would fall short, and Lopez would take a 117-109, 115-111, 113-113 decision. After the fight, Thurman shrugged off the criticisms by explaining that Floyd Mayweather taught him you only need to win seven rounds, then made it clear he wants to fight Pacquiao. Even at 40 years old, Manny would be too good for a Thurman that looked like he did on Saturday night, while Errol Spence Jr or Terence “Bud” Crawford would embarrass that version of “One Time.”
Kownacki KO’s Washington in 2
He might not look like it, but Adam Kownacki is for real. Despite possessing the most dad bod in boxing, the Polish fighter who moved to the USA at age seven knocked out former USC defensive end Gerald Washington in the second round. Washington fought both Jarell “Big Baby” Miller and Deontay Wilder, but Wilder didn’t stop him until the fifth round and Miller couldn’t stop him until the eighth, which should tell us how good Kownacki might be.
After the fight, Kownacki motioned for a title belt but a cut he sustained over his eye will keep him out of action for a while. As a pudgy white guy whose punches just look slow, Kownacki will never pass the heavyweight contender eye test. But, on Saturday he passed the Gerald Washington test with flying colors.
Deontay Wilder’s Brother Marsellos KO’d in 4
Deontay Wilder’s brother, Marsellos Wilder was looking to slowly build his career on the Thurman-Lopez undercard by facing 7-12 with three knockout victories journeyman William Deets from Nebraska. Deets knocked out Wilder in the fourth round, which should effectively end any chances for Marsellos to become a star like his brother.
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