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Munguia powers past Smith, retains WBO title

By Miguel Maravilla at ringside

WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (30-0, 25 KOs) overcame a gutsy effort by former champ Liam “Beefy” Smith (26-2-1, 14 KOs) to take a twelve round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

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8:1 underdog Smith exposed Munguia’s defensive deficiencies early on. Munguia upped the pressure in round four, ripping big shots. The bout continued going Munguia’s direction with his power making the difference. Munguia dropped Smith in round six with a left hook. And it was all Munguia the rest of the way, although the outgunned Smith made it a fight to the very end.

Scores were 116-111, 119-110, 119-108.

“It was a tough fight and he’s a tough fighter,” said Munguia. “I was always looking for the knockout. I always looked for the fight and I went in there like a true Mexican. I have no excuses, but I think going these 12 rounds will serve me as experience. I had a little pain in my hand, but it was no big deal.”

Smith stated, “I don’t think he’s a much better fighter then me. It was the body shot that took my soul. I thought he was feeling it very very much I wanted the title I lost two years ago. I want to stay more active than before. I’m usually known for my fitness but was winded…I did good and bad. My skill level made the difference in certain parts.”

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