Home Boxing News Jamie Munguia reflects on Fight of the Year contender against Sergiy Derevyanchenko

Jamie Munguia reflects on Fight of the Year contender against Sergiy Derevyanchenko

Jaime Munguia and Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Photo credit: Cris Esqueda/ Golden Boy Promotions

Jaime Munguia 42-0 (33) admitted he knew he needed a knockdown in the final round of his closely contested super middleweight bout against Sergiy Derevyanchenko 14-5 (10) to secure a victory at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California on Saturday night.

The normally slow starting Derevyanchenko, 37, came out of the gates fast, crowding Munguia in close and letting his hands go. The stocky Ukrainian middleweight seemed unfazed by the extra six pounds on his 5-foot-9 frame, and if anything seemed stronger at the weight.

At 6-foot tall, former WBO junior middleweight champion Munguia was the naturally bigger man, but it made no difference to Derevyanchenko, who out-muscled the 26-year-old Mexican, backed him up and used his ring IQ to turn him on angles.

Munguia had no choice to fight fire with fire. He worked his way back into the fight before a disastrous fifth round saw him rocked with his head snapped back repeatedly as he reeled around the ring from Derevyanchenko’s heavy blows.

But Munguia showed toughness and heart to not only survive the round, but to force himself back into the fight before appearing to face late.

With one round to go, Munguia was trailling by one point on two of the judges’ scorecard. If Derevyanchenko won the 12th, victory would have been his. If the round went the other way, the result would have been a majority draw.

Instead, Munguia played his get out of jail free card. A body rip dropped Derevyanchenko in the final round, giving him a 10-8 advantage to secure him the win by scores of 114-113, 115-112 and 114-113.

“We knew that it was a very close fight. I knew the rounds that I had won. But I knew that I had to close strong, and I knew that knockdown actually helped and swayed the whole thing,” Munguia said post-fight.

“He was moving a lot. It was very difficult for me to catch him. I think I deserved to win the fight. He also put his body up over me with all of his punches. He took me off my game and broke my distance, but I knew how to adjust.

“I knew that I had to keep him at a distance. He was breaking my distance. I had to keep him away with the jab. I give all credit to my corner who told me exactly what I needed to do. We made the adjustments and got the results.

“In the 12th round, I caught him with a good body punch. I think I hit him for three minutes with no answer. I don’t know why the referee didn’t stop the fight, honestly.

“Yes, it was a very tough lesson. I have a lot to learn. There are a few details that I do need to get better. We’re going to keep working and keep improving in the gym. We’re going to stay at 168 pounds.”