Junior middleweight world titlist Jaime Munguia, who all along planned to move up in weight in 2020, will do so for his next fight.
Munguia, one of boxing's most crowd-pleasing battlers, will move up to the 160-pound middleweight division to fight Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan, a fellow brawler but prohibitive underdog, in a 12-round main event on Jan. 11 (DAZN) at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Golden Boy Promotions announced Wednesday.
Golden Boy president Eric Gomez told ESPN that Munguia will vacate his world title ahead of the bout.
"'Spike' O'Sullivan is an exciting puncher with a lot of experience, so Munguia will have to come very well prepared with all that he's been learning under trainer Erik Morales," Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya said. "It also goes without saying that their styles are guaranteed to make for a fun fight for as long as it lasts."
Munguia (34-0, 27 KOs), 23, of Mexico, won a 154-pound world title by one-sided fourth-round knockout of Sadam Ali in May 2018 and made five defenses but never faced another major name in the division, beating the likes of former titlist Liam Smith, Brandon Cook, Takeshi Inoue, Dennis Hogan (by controversial decision) and, in his most recent defense, Patrick Allotey on Sept. 14.
Munguia has had difficulties making 154 pounds, so the plan has been to move up in weight, and he is excited to do so.
"I feel very happy to be starting the year 2020 with a great fight at a great place like San Antonio, Texas," Munguia said. "I have fought in Houston before, where the people there treated me very well. I think that San Antonio won't be any different. We're going to deliver a great fight against a tough fighter in Gary O'Sullivan. He's great and he's strong, but we're going to come very well prepared. We plan to do an excellent job and make it very clear who is the best in the ring."
O'Sullivan (30-3, 21 KOs), 35, of Ireland, has faced mostly club-level opposition. The three times he stepped up in class, he lost, by near-shutout decision to two-division world titlist Billy Joe Saunders in 2013, by seventh-round knockout to top contender Chris Eubank Jr. in 2015 and by first-round destruction to former titleholder David Lemieux on the Canelo Alvarez-Gennadiy Golovkin II card in September 2018. O'Sullivan has won two low-level fights since the blowout by Lemieux.
"For me, it's a dream come true to fight the undefeated [junior middleweight] champion of the world," O'Sullivan said. "It makes it even better that he's Mexican. I grew up watching the great Mexican champions, and to get the opportunity to fight Jaime is an honor. I will leave no stone unturned in my preparation for this fight. I can't recall feeling more motivated by any other fight in my career thus far. I believe this fight will be a war that the fans will talk about for many years to come."