By Miguel Maravilla
Exciting WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (30-0, 25 KO’s) of Tijuana, Mexico is set to make his pay per view debut this Saturday as he will take on Brandon Cook (20-1, 13 KOs) of Toronto, Canada. Munguia will be featured in the co-main event to the anticipated rematch between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin live on HBO Pay Per View.
“This is a big opportunity to be on this card and most importantly fighting on this Mexican holiday weekend. It’s special for every Mexican fighter to fight on this weekend. I am ready to give everyone a great fight,” Jaime Munguia told Fightnews.com®.
Coming off a tough unanimous decision win over Liam Smith of England in July, Munguia went the distance twelve rounds for the first time in his career. Munguia successfully defended his WBO title for the first time he won over Sadam Ali.
“I learned a lot in the last fight. I learned not to get desperate. I was expecting less of him but he came well prepared. It was a good experience,” Munguia commented on his last fight.
The 21-year-old had some flaws in the fight but also displayed his potential and definite room for improvement.
“I had some flaws that I noticed. We have been working on correcting those mistakes,” Munguia explained.
Since becoming world champion, Munguia’s stock has risen. Last year in December, I was fortunate to cover his U.S debut on the Mikey Roman vs. Orlando Salido non-televised undercard from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas as he would go on to score a knockout over Paul Valenzuela. Four months later his name was mentioned as a potential opponent for Gennady Golovkin to replace “Canelo” Alvarez, after Canelo’s clenbuterol scandal. The Nevada State Athletic Commission would deny Munguia the opportunity and as the old saying goes.
“Things happen for a reason and I still thank the Nevada State Athletic Commission for denying me that fight,” Munguia said.
For Munguia, the rejection can be the best thing that happened as he would later get the opportunity at the title against Sadam Ali, going on to annihilate the 2008 U.S Olympian and winning the world title on the big HBO stage.
“This year has been the biggest of my career so far. But the reality is that I cannot lose focus because everybody wants my title and everybody’s after me,” The champ said.
Now he gets the opportunity on a much more major platform on HBO Pay Per View.
“It’s an honor to be on this pay per view card. I’m very happy to be able to participate in this big event full of stars,”
Following his win over Smith, Munguia went right back to the gym working with his trainer Robert Alcazar along with his father Jaime Munguia Sr. Mr. Munguia was also a boxer fighting briefly as a heavyweight. The duo wrapped training camp in Southern California in preparation for Cook.
“I’m ready. I have trained really, really hard. I need to focus a lot. I’ve been training in L.A. for my last two bouts. Following my last fight, I went right back to the gym in Tijuana. The collaboration between my father and Robert has been good,” Munguia on his preparation.
His Canadian opponent Brandon Cook is coming off two straight knockout wins since suffering his only defeat to undefeated Kanat Islam (25-0, 20 KOs).
“Brandon Cook is a really good opponent, a really strong opponent. He has a lot of experience and is a strong and tough opposition,” Munguia said.
All eyes and focus this Saturday will be on the anticipated rematch between Canelo and Golovkin as many households will be hosting fight parties with families and friends gathered to watch. While sports bars and pubs will also be hosting. Prior to the big fight, many casual viewers will get to watch Munguia for the first time as the young champion will look to make a statement.
“This is a huge opportunity and I have an obligation to show people what I’m about,” Munguia stated. “I’m excited and I can’t wait, and I’m ready for Saturday.”
Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla