<
>

Junior middleweight Munguia to defend vs. Hogan

Junior middleweight world titlist Jaime Munguia will make his mandatory defense against Dennis Hogan on April 13 at the Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico, Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez told ESPN on Wednesday.

The fight, which will be streamed on DAZN in the United States, was due to be put up for a purse bid on March 4, but the WBO canceled it when the sides informed the sanctioning organization via email that they had struck a deal.

Munguia (32-0, 26 KOs), 22, of Mexico, will be making his fourth title defense since knocking out Sadam Ali to claim the 154-pound belt by fourth-round knockout in May 2018. Munguia is coming off an action-packed but one-sided decision win to retain the belt against Takeshi Inoue on Jan. 26 in Houston.

Gomez said he expects Hogan, a come-forward fighter, to also make an exciting fight with Munguia.

"He's a very tough fighter and it's going to make for a good fight because he is a pressure fighter who likes to come forward and be aggressive like Munguia does," Gomez said.

Hogan (28-1-1, 7 KOs), 33, an Ireland native fighting out of Australia, has won six fights in a row since losing a unanimous decision to Jack Culcay in an interim junior middleweight title bout in Germany in 2015.

Munguia is very big for the division and Gomez said he is close to moving up to middleweight.

"We've talked about it and he thinks he can finish out the year at 154," Gomez said. "He'll fight four times this year and this will be his second fight. So after this fight we will discuss it again with our [promotional] partner Fernando [Beltran of Zanfer Promotions] and with Munguia, but he says he can still make the weight and he seems good making it. But he'll move up to middleweight in the future."

Gomez said the undercard will feature the return of Diego De La Hoya, who will move up to featherweight from junior featherweight, where he has badly struggled to make weight and seen fights canceled because of it.

De La Hoya (21-0, 10 KOs), 24, of Mexico, who is the first cousin of Golden Boy CEO and International Boxing Hall of Famer Oscar De La Hoya, will face an opponent to be determined in a 10-round bout.

"He had trouble with the weight. All young fighters go through that," Gomez said. "They think they can still make weight and their body is growing and they can't. So we all got together and talked about it and we agreed it was time for him to go to featherweight."

De La Hoya's most recent fight was a seventh-round knockout of Jose Salgado in June. The fight following that one, which was slated to come against Edixon Perez on Nov. 17 in De La Hoya's hometown of Mexicali, was canceled beforehand because of his struggles to make weight. It was the second time he saw a fight called off because of an inability to make 122 pounds.