Canelo vs. Munguia inches closer to reality

By David Finger

With only two weeks since his last fight, it may be a little early to be asking “who is next” in regards to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, but at the 36th Annual WBO Congress in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic boxing fans and insiders got a strong indication as to who the front runner might be.

Former WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (42-0, 33 KOs) who has not fought for a world title since vacating his 154-pond title in 2019, but who has nonetheless remained a viable contender in both the middleweight and later the super-middleweight division over the last four years, appears to have emerged as the betting favorite to win out on the upcoming Canelo sweepstakes.

Ironically, there has been some criticism levied on Munguia for the perception that he was not capitalizing on any opportunities to utilize his #1 ranking and position himself in a world title fight. In fact, it appeared that WBO President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel was about to put Eric Gomez of Golden Boy Promotions on the spot about Munguia previously declining to take advantage of his position as a mandatory challenger to the champion.

“Now we have Munguia at number one,” Valcarcel noted, “we offered Munguia a lot of opportunities to fight as a mandatory (challenger) at 154 at 160. I know Eric Gomez (from Golden Boy) is here, Munguia is the number one-”

Gomez interrupted Valcarcel to let the WBO know exactly what was on everyone’s mind.

“Yes we’ll take the mandatory against Canelo,” Gomez said.

Although exercising his mandatory spot moves the needle of a Canelo-Munguia fight closer to coming to fruition, there is still no guarantee it will happen quickly.

“Canelo just fought Charlo so he has eighteen more months to make another mandatory,” Valcarcel added, “but any negotiations is welcome.”

Valcarcel added some personal commentary to a possible All-Mexico battle between two of the most exciting fighters in boxing.

“I’d like to see your guy against Canelo,” Valcarcel added. “it should be one of the best fights we can have. Both can fight.”

Gomez then added that “there has ben some initial talks.”

Although Canelo has numerous options for his next fight, and will not be in a position where he would have to fight Munguia as a mandatory until 2025, this development does appear to make a Canelo-Munguia fight the most likely next step for Alvarez if he decides to remains at super-middleweight. And it would be a fight that boxing fans would undoubtably be excited about, something not lost on Gomez.

“Hopefully we can get something done, ” Gomez added.

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  • He just made two consecutive WBO mandatories between Charlo & Ryder. Hopefully he spreads it around now. Fight Andrade – Benavidez winner or start to vacate some of those titles. I like Munguia, probably more than most, but I don’t think he gives Canelo many problems at all.

    • My understanding is Canelo has a 3 fight deal with PBC. I was thinking before I read this article who would be next and I think it will be the winner of Benavidez-Andrade. For now I think the Munguia fight is just talk. David Morrell should be fighting on some of these Canelo PBC cards.

      • Yeah I think so too, Pete. For him to fight a non PBC fighter on one of their cards, it’d have to be a massive fight or maybe if he were going to rematch Bivol or something like that. I would think if he fights and beats Benavidez/Andrade then… maybe Jermall Charlo if he gets a couple of wins? I don’t see Canelo fighting Morrell.

      • It’s not definite three. PBC have boxes to tick or Canelo can walk. Don’t be surprised if he’s back on DAZN soon.

    • Yes, spread the love …however this is a bigger mis-match than Canelos last fight. Also, I’m not sure Munguia can move around for 12 rounds like Charlo did.

      • He most certainly cannot move around like that, USS. His defense has always been Munguia’s biggest problem imo. I think Canelo chops him up and stops him in 7-8 rounds.

        • I have a hard time seeing Canelo taking a stand to fight a non PBC guy to put any money in Oscar’s pocket. In previous generations even the stars were not making so much money that they could afford to hold grudges. If the money was there and no where else the fight would happen. However that was then this is now. Canelo can make 30 million fighting me, therefore he will never need Munguia. He has too many other options. IMO is you are a Golden Boy fighter…getting the Golden Canelo ticket is much harder.

          • I say again, if Canelo is that good why not fight Benavidez or Andrade ? What’s the problem ?

        • Lucie, I think Munguia’s best chance is to try to push Canelo back. Definitely, easier said than done! With the right camp, he should be the bigger, stronger man, but he must employ holding and pushing tactics. Think Holyfield vs Tyson…throw two or three punches, grab and push him back. If he can’t do this he’s hopelessly outclassed.

          Like you, I think in the end Canelo is just too good. 7 to 8 rounds sounds right.

          • He’s going to take some serious punishment trying to bully Canelo, but at least he’d have a chance to land something. If he tries to box, he gets picked apart and has no chance at all; so I agree with you, Scott.

    • Lucie fighting a boxer who is 2 weight classes below super middleweight is not his mandatory! His mandatory is Benavidez or Andrade! Their both Super middles.

  • This some BS seeing Canelo said he doesn’t fight fellow Mexican fighters but won’t F_ _ K with Benavidez but will take on the young flawed ass fighter, He’s a Mexican great alright at the bottom of the todem poll too!

    • Relax, its just talk. Although team Munguia has been protected and groomed for this type of opportunity to cash out, I Doubt this fight gets made next.
      You’re not the only one who will call out Canelo fighting a Mexican although he said he wouldnt.
      Canelo saying he wouldn’t give a Mexican fighter the same opportunity is somewhat a racist statement that nobody talks about. Js

    • In Native terms “bottom of the totem pole” actually means one is highly revered, so I would have to disagree. He’s fighting Mexican fighters at the top of the totem pole.

  • If this fight is being seriously considered and materialized, it will just to the frustration from fans to Canelo for handpicking opponents

  • From a business standpoint the Munguia fight makes sense. Both Canelo and Munguia are popular and marketable and it serves as another low risk, high reward proposition for Canelo, at least financially. Benavidez, as fine a fighter as he is, likely still doesn’t possess the popularity and marketability that are commensurate with the risk of fighting him. The fans know Benavidez is the undisputed number one challenger and threat to Canelo’s crown but that doesn’t always translate into the best business decision. I’d love for the Benavidez-Andrade winner to be matched with David Morel with the winner of those pairings taking on Canelo. Canelo will have to fight these guys at some point as he’s running out of options, and I think he will. It’s just a matter of when. But for now, he’s making as much money as he can with as little risk as possible, which is part and parcel of being a successful prizefighter. Can’t hate on him for that, IMO.

    • No problem with getting big money for less risk. The issue is calling Canelo the #1 fighter in the world when Canelo himself doesn’t believe it.

  • no no no Munguia is not a sellable fight it has to be the winner of Benavidez and Boob Boob its simple Munguia still doesnt bring the buzz or enough draw to get his lotto ticket punched

  • Maybe the ‘new’ Canelo can fight 3 times a year so that he can get in all these fights.

  • Naaaaaaaaa if this fight goes on we all should not watch it so that they stop the BS in boxing

  • There hasn’t been anyone clamoring for the Munguia fight for years. His record is totally propped up, comprised of beating 2nd and 3rd tier fighters. Munguia has no chance of winning that fight, and nobody is asking for it besides the Munguia camp. How does beating Munguia accomplish anything now for Canelo’s legacy now that he’s declared himself “unbeatable” at 168 lbs. Both Canelo and Munguia are likable enough fighters, but the only fights that fans are demanding is either David Benavidez, or maybe the winner of Andrade-Benavidez. Hell, maybe Canelo should just fight the other Monster, Naoya Inoue because a least then he’d be fighting a pound for pound champion… makes as much sense as fighting Munguia. As one of y’all pointed out, this is probably just talk.

  • Can not happen between canelo and munguia…. Canelo doesn’t fight Mexican right?????!!!

  • At this point, I would not doubt at all that this is his next fight. Typical boxing BS.

  • Should be an easy walk in the park for canelo if it ever happens! Munguia got murdered in his last fight against darvachrnko! Canelo should forget about the 6’2 light heavyweight benavidez. Benavidez vs bivol would be an even match for him instead!

  • Canelo better fight the winner of Benavidez vs Andrade or rematch with Bivol not no damn Mungia! I can’t stand this mismatch BS. Shits really pissing me off. Mungia gonna get killed. I’d rather see Mungia fight Janibek or Jermall Charlo

  • Munguia is a fine offensive fighter, and he could pose a problem for a few rounds, but he has never learned how to defend himself. Deryenchenko had him out on his feet. Canelo will eat him up. Jaime has a very good chin, though, and he will take his lumps before he gets stopped if they fight. He won’t hold and will try to brave it out until he hits the floor. I hope they don’t fight.

  • Canelo needs to just walk up to David Benavidez and tell him that he’s afraid of him and then just hand him his WBC belt. It’s both the truth and the honorable thing to do.

  • Boxing is too predictable. We have mega-fights ready to be made and the number 1 contender issue is suddenly given importance. How many times have the sanctioning bodies finagled the rules to either protect a champ or to set up a big fight? This might be all talk like some of you have pointed out. Perhaps it’s just a game to knock excitement out either Benavides or Andrade since they’re both looking towards a Canelo fight next.

    I see Munguía as a big mook and not a threat at this weight division for Canelo or anyone who knows his way around the ring. He’s a smaller version of Price. Punches are too wide and they both take unecessary punishment because of poor defense. As tough as Munguía is, he will be in trouble as soon as Canelo feels safe firing combos without the threat of anything significant in return.

    Just give Munguía side-step money and take on the winner of Benavides vs Andrade. It’s been done before and I’m sure the sanctioning bodies will look the other way for today’s golden goose.

    It would be funny though if Munguía ruins the party with an upset win.

  • My goodness this doesn’t make any sense on many levels! Firstly, didn’t Canelo go on record saying he doesn’t want to fight another Mexican? Let alone an actual countryman?? Secondly, what top tier 68 pounder has Munguia fought to not only earn the spot, but more importantly take it from Benavidez! Canelo HAS to fight the winner of Benavidez-Andrade in May 2025!! He’s either waiting for David to lose so that he could discredit him or he’s waiting for him to retire lol

  • Canelo shouldn’t even be thinking about his Cinco De Mayo opponent yet, unless it’s the eventual winner of the year end matchup b/n Benavidez/Andrade. If Canelo is any type of proud fighter looking to defend his SMW throne, he should be ringside for this fight and straight away offer the winner a shot. Already planning a fight against an unworthy challenger this soon, after his other easy touch, could really damage his legacy. Canelo has no other option, other than retirement, than to face the winner of Benavidez/Andrade.

  • C’mon man! When are you guys going to see black and white what Canelo does? Of course he wants Munguia next. Didn’t you see how old Derevyanchenko beat him and Munguia was gifted the fight? Now he can say he beat a top undefeated and popular Mexican fighter when Munguia actually isn’t. This is pathetic.

  • Bring on David Morrell for Canelo and watch Canelos 1st stoppage loss. I am pretty sure Canelo stays away from that fight.

  • charlo was not in the fight he just did that for the money, he litterally bowed down to canelo

  • Wait a minute…Forget about mandatories etc. I thought Canelo supposedly didn’t fight Mexican fighters. I like Canelo but let’s call a spade a spade. What excuses can be made for him not fighting Benavidez? Nobody wants to see Canelo vs Jaime Munguia. Fight the winner of Benavidez vs Andrade.

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