Anaheim — In a Sock-Em Boppers style of fight all fans expected, Jaime Munguia defeated Puerto Rican veteran Gabe Rosado via unanimous decision with scorecards reading 117-111, 119-109, and 118-111 in their 12-round middleweight showdown. By showing great stamina, tremendous power, and the Mexican heart all fans love, Munguia proved he is no longer “too green” for the big fights at middleweight.
The first round consisted of Rosado trying to establish his jab, while Munguia threw combinations looking for openings in Rosado’s guard. To my surprise, the Tijuanense showed head movement as he staled Rosado forward, a nice improvement from his time at the jr. middleweight division.
Both fighters came out more aggressive during the third assault, with Munguia getting the better of the exchanges and landing heavy leather as Rosado tried to hold.
The Puerto Rican fight veteran awoke in the fourth round, holding Munguia with one arm while attacking him with the other. The crowd roared as both fighters traded phone-booth style in the middle of the ring with Rosado proving he wasn’t planning to succumb to Munguia’s smothering blows.
That success was short-lived, however, as Munguia maintained the pace with blasting combinations both upstairs and down, gaining control of the action throughout the middle rounds. Both fighters ended up on the canvas in the seventh round, due to Rosado holding on to Munguia and making him lose balance as he pressed his weight on him. Though Rosado’s face started to swell from Munguia’s heavy hands, the Puerto Rican fighter motioned to Munguia to keep on bringing it.
Rosado caught a second wind in the second half of the eighth round, landing major right and left hands that cornered Rosado against the ropes. Munguia continued the ninth unraveling multi-combination punches, while Rosado landed massive shots of his own. Rosado received a warning from referee Jack Reiss to end the round, even going to his corner to instruct Freddy Roach to tell Rosado to “Stop the bullshit.”
Rosado landed a thunderous shot in the 10th round, with an unfazed Munguia retaliating with more significant punishment. From there, it turned into a repetition of most Rosado fights. Rosado coming forward scarcely landing punches, getting completely wrecked, with his granite chin and quality stamina helping him avoid the canvas.
With Munguia’s apparent improvements, his ascend to the middleweight division seems much more hopeful with Erik Morales in his corner. As for Rosado, the boxing fans will be forever grateful of the entertaining fights he delivered, never ducking any smoke.
While a lot of fans feel he should take a role of gatekeeper at 160/168, the punishment he’s received during his hard-fought victories and losses seems like it’s been enough.
In the post-fight interview, Mannix told Munguia he could get a title shot when he wanted, yet with Munguia allegedly turning down a fight with Derevyachenko to fight Rosado instead, it’s unclear whether he or his team feel ready for that opportunity just yet.
Golden Boy prospect Alexis Rocha scored a ninth-round stoppage and dominant performance over Colombian contender Jeovanis Barraza in the co-main event of the card.
Rocha started the fight strong, throwing combinations and making it known he was not looking to taste defeat again. Barraza spent the fight with his back against alternating sides of the ropes, trying to shield himself from Rocha’s relentless attack.
In the middle rounds, Rocha added body shots to his arsenal, keeping Barraza on the back-foot as he tried to counter with no much avail. The more the crowd chanted Rocha’s name, the more pressure the Santa Ana native put on his opponent, constantly snapping his head back with vicious shots.
Rocha turned it up in the eighth round, unleashing combinations while Barraza answered with decent shots of his own, but not enough to get Rocha to slow down. After taking nine-rounds worth of punishment, the referee finally put an end to the action 33 seconds into the ninth round.
While Rocha looked well-prepared and quick-on-his feet two fights after his first decision loss, the lack of power could prove to be a problem in a division with other heavy-hitting contenders like Golden Boy stablemate Vergil Ortiz and Philly rising-star Jeron “Boots” Ennis.
In a scheduled 10-round middleweight bout, Maryland’s D’Mitrius “Big Meech” Ballard defeated Mexican contender Paul Valenzuela eight rounds to two in all three judges’ scorecards.
Though the fight went the distance, neither guy dominated the other, swinging wildly and head-hunting for the majority of the fight.
In the early rounds, both fighters threw uncoordinated punches with bad intentions, making sloppy attempts to land a knockout punch. Due to their sloppy approach, the fighters were constantly getting tangled and separated by the ref, who issued several warnings to Valenzuela.
While Ballard searched to attack the body, Valenzuela proved to be durable regardless of his nine previous losses. In the fifth round, both fighters swung it out against the ropes, yet by the seventh, both fighters appeared tired and lacking pop behind the punches.
The most entertaining moments? The dance moves Valenzuela performed in his corner in-between rounds, clearly enjoying the spotlight. Though Ballards undefeated record continues intact, his performance was lackluster and left a lot to be desired. Especially when you compare it to other undefeated fighters in the middleweight division.
In the card-opening bout William “El Camarón” Zepeda retained his undefeated record, as well as his WBA Continental Americas Lightweight Title by defeating Filipino contender John “Mulawin” Moralde via fourth-round stoppage.
In the first round, Zepeda imposed his size advantage by throwing combinations that pinned Moralde against the ropes, an early look on how the bout would end.. Though Moralde attempted to retaliate the attack, Zepeda continued to land the better of the exchanges as they finished the round in the middle of the ring.
Through the second and third rounds, Zepeda intensified his attack, immobilizing Moralde and making him hesitant to engage. Clearly frustrated in his lack of success, Moralde attempted to headbutt Zepeda in the third, receiving a warning from the referee.
More aggressive in the fourth round, Zepeda pushed the action by pummeling away at Moralde as he tried to shield himself from the furious blows. As Zepeda walked Moralde towards the ropes with a flurry of punches, Moralde turned his back towards Zepeda, clearly quitting before Zepeda could land a knockout punch.
With this fight marking Zepeda’s 14th-consecutive knockout victory, and his last coming against undefeated Hector Tanajara, Zepeda is making his case for competitive contention against the top dudes at 135.