Munguia Beats Smith

Photo by Al Applerose

Mexico’s Munguia Dominates England’s Smith in Las Vegas


By Jeannie Coston-Avila

Backed by a loud supportive Mexican crowd WBO super welterweight titlist Jamie Munguia powered his way past England’s Liam “Beefy” Smith to win by unanimous decision on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Munguia (30-0, 25 KOs) was unable to continue his knockout streak but proved he was too powerful for former world champion Smith (26-2-1, 14 KOs) in front of a sold out crowd of 2,470 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The Tijuana fighter’s knockout streak was stopped at six.

“He was a very strong fighter,” said Munguia of his British foe.

Smith was looking to regain the same world title he lost to another Mexican fighter Saul “Canelo” Alvarez back in September 2016. But against the fresh faced Munguia who turns 22 in October the fighter born in Liverpool had the experience but not the ability to match power shots with the Tijuana prizefighter.

“He’s a good fighter and I think he answered a few questions,” said the classy Smith after losing by unanimous decision.

In the first three rounds it was apparent that Smith was able to catch Munguia with right hand bombs. But it was also apparent that the Mexican fighter was able to aobsorb the blows and return fire with even more force. Slowly, that power advantage broke down the British fighter’s resilience.

A sweeping left hook by Munguia caught Smith high above the temple and down went the challenger in the sixth round. He got up at the count of eight with a slight shake of his head.

After the knockdown Munguia attacked the body with a vengeance and was warned several times by the referee for low blows. Most actually landed on the belt but the damage caused by the body attack forced Smith to slow down his own attack and that proved a liability. For the Mexican fighter the blows never slowed down even though Smith was able to connect with solid shots of his own.

Munguia never slowed down and never stopped trying for a knockout win. Smith was just too stubborn and experienced to allow the long armed Mexican fighter to land the killing blow.

After 12 rounds the two hugged and all three judges saw Munguia the winner by scores of 116-111, 119-108, 119-110.

Although a knockout was unattainable the crowd was pleased by the action.

“I wanted to give a good show for the public,” said Munguia, who is trained by Robert Alcazar, former trainer of Oscar De La Hoya. “He was very strong and it was a good learning experience.”

It clearly was a learning experience and even Munguia agreed.

“I’m very young and need to learn,” said the Tijuana fighter. “I am still a little green and it will help me in my next fight.

Super Featherweight title

Puerto Rico’s Alberto Machado (20-0, 16 KOs) floored Ghana’s Rafael Mensah (31-1, 23 KOs) in the first round and battered him severely throughout the fight, but was unable to gain the knockout, but he did retain the WBA super featherweight world title by decision.

Machado was too quick and too strong for Mensah who had a golf-sized bump on the right side of his face. Though out-gunned the Ghana fighter managed to survive all 12 rounds that saw Machado win by scores 120-107 on all three cards.

“Though I couldn’t finish him, I’m happy I went all the rounds because it was an experience I hadn’t had before,” said Alberto Machado. “I hurt my left hand early, so that’s why I stopped throwing the left hand to the body. But I kept to the game plan that Freddie Roach had for me and used the jab and worked from a distance. I’d fight anyone. I have to talk with my promoter first, but I would like fight Francisco Vargas.”

Other bouts

Brazil’s Yamaguchi Falcao (16-0) won by decision over Elias Espadas (17-4) in a middleweight clash.

Carlos Caraballo (8-0) stopped Jesus Martinez (24-4) in the fifth round of a super bantamweight fight.

Welterweight Blair Cobbs (9-0-1) knocked out Emmanuel Valdez (5-5) in the second round.