While the rest of the world watched on in awe as previously unheralded of Mexican banger Jaime Munguia 29-0 (25) destroyed American WBO junior middleweight champion Sadam Ali 26-2 (14) in four rounds at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York on Saturday night, WBO number two ranked 154-pounder Dennis “Hurricane” Hogan 27-1-1 (7) sat ringside sizing up the man he hopes to share the square circle with when the 21-year-old Tijuana power-puncher makes his first world title defence.
“I am ready,” Hogan posted on social media shortly after the fight in which Ali was down four times, including twice in the opening round. “Ali is a welterweight moving up to super, I am coming down the weights. I would love this fight.”
Munguia stepped in as a late replacement for Liam “Beefy” Smith 26-1-1 (14), the mandatory contender from the United Kingdom who withdrew from the fight a little more than two weeks out after suffering an allergic reaction that prevented him from training. The WBO number four ranked contender, who has a knockout ratio of 86%, took the opportunity with both hands.
At 6-foot tall the size difference was obvious from the opening bell. So too was Munguia’s thunderous power as he dropped Ali early in the first with a left hook then again later in the same round to close out the opening stanza with a 10-7 lead.
The 28-year-old from Brooklyn, who claimed the world title with an upset win over Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto last December, didn’t fare much better in the second as he took his third trip to the canvas for the fight. The third round was the only three-minute period that Ali wasn’t officially knocked down despite finding himself on the canvas again when he lunged in for a clinch after being hit but Munguia moved out of the way.
In the fourth a long left hook caught Ali with his guard down, sending him to the canvas again. Referee Gary Rosato waved off the fight at 1:02 of the fourth to save Ali from further punishment.
Going in to the fight Munguia hadn’t faced anyone of note but his dominant display against Ali has proved his power is legit and put the 154-pound weight class on notice. While the rest of the division doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to face the overnight star of the sport, Hogan, who has defeated two top ten ranked fighters in back-to-back fights to claim the number two position in the WBO rankings, is keen to test himself against the very best.
Hogan’s Australian promoter DDP Sports reinforced their desire to match their boxer with Munguia after the fight.
“Congrats to @jaimemunguia15 the new @WorldBoxingOrg light Middleweight champion,” wrote Hogan’s promoter Paul Keegan of DDP Sports on social media. “Brave effort from @realworldkidali, interesting few weeks ahead for the division @dennis_h_hogan is ready to be the first defence @GoldenBoyBoxing @ddpsports @Irishboxingcom @ausboxing”
After the fight Munguia thanked the Nevada State Athletic Commission for refusing to sanction him as a replacement for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez who was another recent withdrawal from his scheduled May 5 fight against unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
“I want to thank the Nevada Commission for making this opportunity possible as they didn’t allow me to fight Gennady Golovkin,” Munguia said. “I want to show that I am ready to fight at the highest level and with the best fighters.”
Golovkin ended up facing career junior middleweight Vanes Martiroyan in Carson, California, destroying him in two one-sided rounds. It was the Armenian-American’s first fight in two years.