Former WBO junior middleweight titlist Jaime Munguia made a successful debut at middleweight by stopping the plucky Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan with an 11th-round TKO at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday night.
While he was able to dominate the late stage of the contest, there were certainly some rough moments for Munguia (35-0, 28 KOs), who, after a quick start in the opening two rounds, was clipped on the chin by a right hand from O'Sullivan that dazed him at the very end of the third.
It took a few rounds for Munguia to truly steady himself, but as he got back to establishing his long, quick jab and focusing more on throwing fast punches, instead of hard ones, the 23-year-old was able to regain full control of the bout. In the seventh round, a low blow sent O'Sullivan to the canvas, and Munguia was deducted a point by referee Mark Calo-oy. But that didn't dissuade Munguia from consistently attacking the body and then mixing up his attack up top.
"I was confused whether to attack or not, but thanks to my corner, I think I did better at 160," said Munguia. "I feel like I wore down less 'cause of the weight cut. I felt I threw more punches, more combinations, and it made the difference."
Give credit to O'Sullivan: Although he was hurt in several rounds, he landed more than his share of punches on Munguia, who left more than a few openings with his hell-bent for leather style. O'Sullivan was staggered in the 10th, and then finally, as he was swarmed by the two-fisted attack of Munguia, he crumbled to the canvas just as the towel was being thrown in by his corner.
Munguia finished with a flourish, but he showed that he is still very much a work-in-progress under the direction of Hall of Famer Erik Morales, who has trained him for the past two fights. Their first outing together was back in September when he halted Patrick Allotey in four rounds.
It seems as though Morales has made some progress with his young pupil. Yet, there is still plenty more to be learned.
When asked how he would assess his own performance, Munguia said, "I would give myself an eight or nine. I had to do some more things but will take this fight by fight."
Jimenez bests Dezurn by split decision
In what was an entertaining, back-and-forth slugfest, Alejandra Jimenez captured the WBC and WBO female super middleweight title by outlasting Franchon Crews Dezurn. The action was fast-paced from the opening moments of this 10-round battle and never let up throughout. When it was over, it was Jimenez winning 97-93, 98-92, with Dezurn having the edge on the other card 97-93.
In the opening round, Dezurn (6-2, 2 KOs) hit Jimenez (13-0-1, 9 KOs) with numerous right hands that snapped her head back. It seemed that whatever Dezurn threw landed on Jimenez, who was noticeably bigger. While Dezurn kept up an active work rate, by the middle rounds, Jimenez was walking through whatever Dezurn had to offer and soon was landing numerous power shots while marching forward consistently.
While both women landed plenty of leather on one another, it seemed as though it was Jimenez's punches that had more effect. Dezurn was fatigued by the middle rounds, but to her credit, she kept fighting gamely. She was laboring in the late rounds to hold off the hard-charging Jimenez.
Dezurn certainly had her moments, but at times, she was simply overwhelmed by the physicality of Jimenez.
"Franchon is a very tough opponent," Jimenez said. "There's no doubt in that. Hopefully, she changes her style a little bit, because she was very dirty with me during the whole fight and outside the ring, as well, but that's not important. I came here to do my work because I love and respect what I do because I'm a professional and Mexican."
A disappointed Dezurn said, "I'm heartbroken, but I've been here before. This is a learning experience; I have to go back and regroup with my team because I don't think a decision on my favor was that far. This was a tough fight for me. This was my eighth fight, but I'm still learning and growing in the ring."
For the victor, it's on to bigger and better things.
"This is not over for me. I'm expecting to go after Claressa Shields at middleweight division," Jimenez said.
Tanajara defeats Juan Carlos Burgos by unanimous decision
Lightweight Hector Tanajara (18-0, 5 KOs) continued his development by outpointing veteran Juan Carlos Burgos over 10 rounds by scores of 99-91, 97-92 and 97-92.
The native of San Antonio boxed intelligently from the outside in the first half of the fight, and then, in the later stages of the contest, began to move closer to Burgos (33-4-2, 21 KOs) and began to chip away with both hands on the inside. Burgos, who has fought three times for the world title, was never able to mount a consistent counter attack versus his younger foe, who outlanded him 189 to 133 in punches.
"I fought a tough opponent, and I performed well," said Tanajara, 23, who believes he took an important step in his career. "I felt like I hurt him more than a lot of other opponents he had. My level goes up when I fight a guy like that. I need fights like this that are getting me to the next level.
"He was a veteran, he's been there 12 rounds, he fought for the world title. So these are the fights I need to fight because I want to fight for a world title myself."
Franco stops Jose Burgos in ninth
Junior bantamweight Joshua Franco scored an emphatic victory in front of his hometown fans with a ninth-round stoppage of the game Jose Burgos. Franco (16-1-2, 8 KOs), fighting for the first time as a professional in San Antonio, steadily broke down Burgos with a series of straight right hands and counter left hooks throughout the night.
Burgos (17-3, 14 KOs) proved to be very durable, but a left hook shook him in the ninth round to the point where he no longer had his legs underneath him. He was hit with a barrage of punches from Franco, who then pinned him up along the ropes and continued his onslaught until referee Rafael Ramos called off the fight at 2:13 of the round.
"I feel incredible winning at my hometown," said Franco, whose past three fights had come against Oscar Negrete (two draws, and Franco won their second bout). "It is my first time fighting here, and I performed well. Words can't describe how I feel right now; I feel really happy to see my friends and family in the crowd tonight."