Hall of Famer Erik Morales, the new trainer to WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia, says you’ll see a difference when Munguia (33-0, 26 KOs) defends against Patrick Allotey (40-3, 30 KOs) on Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. DAZN will stream live. Morales replaced Robert Alcazar in Munguia’s corner after Jaime’s last fight against Dennis Hogan, which was not considered a stellar performance.
“In Jaime Munguia’s last fight, he was criticized a lot,” said Morales. “He showed vulnerabilities in his defense. However, he has a lot of potential. He’s young, strong and can hit very hard. We haven’t changed much. Rather, we’ve strengthened his combinations and focused on his offense. We’ve made some minor changes in his defense, but it will nevertheless make a difference.”
Munguia is Morales’ first high-profile protege. “We weren’t friends before working together, but we thought well of each other,” says Erik. “When we’d see each other, we would greet each other happily. Now that we are together, we have a very cordial relationship.
“When you bring a new voice into a corner, it can be tough at first. But when you find a way to listen and you see that things are going your way, it can be a calming experience. If there’s any advice that I’d give to Jaime, it’s to listen to his corner, pay attention and let us help him.”
What changes will you see in Munguia? Jaime says he’s been working on keeping his hands up, moving his waist and using lateral movement.
Boxing Hall of Famer Oscar de la Hoya also shared his observations.
“I like what I see in Jaime Munguia now that he has the legendary Erik Morales in his corner,” said the Golden Boy. “He’s having him sit down more on his punches. Before, he was on his toes too much. Now he has him sitting on his punches and throwing combinations. At the same time, he is moving his head and being smart, so I like what I see.
“I’m expecting Jaime to box a little bit, but I also expect him to be more aggressive and throw combinations. Fighters today don’t throw as many combinations. They want to knock people out with one punch. But it’s not the first punch that knocks you out-it’s the third or fourth punch. I like Jaime is being more aggressive and throwing more combinations.”
Promoter Fernando Beltran stated, “I see Jaime Munguia is improving his defense and on not throwing punches for the sake of throwing them. He’s thinking more in there. He’s improving a lot.
“Erik Morales has a lot to prove as a trainer. As a former fighter, he has a lot of knowledge, which he can now pass down to other fighters who are coming up. They get along very well. We are very happy to have put them together and that they are getting along so well. We’re also happy with Jaime’s improvement. We just saw him moving his head in sparring and throwing a lot of punches. He’s not jumping as much. I really like it.”