Tonight at 10 pm ET on HBO, Boxing After Dark returns with a world title doubleheader from Las Vegas, with Jaime Munguia defending the WBO junior middleweight title in the main event against former titleholder Liam Smith.
Munguia (29-0, 25 KO) broke out on May 12, when he thrashed Sadam Ali to win his belt. But Munguia only got that shot as a late replacement for Smith, who had to pull out of the fight. Smith (26-1-1, 14 KO) has only lost to Canelo Alvarez as a pro, and could be a more interesting physical matchup for the imposing Munguia than Ali was.
In the co-feature, Alberto Machado (19-0, 16 KO) also makes his first title defense of the WBA “world” super featherweight title, facing Ghana’s Rafael Mensah (31-0, 23 KO). It’s Mensah’s first fight outside of his home country.
Wil Esco will handle the round-by-round call this evening. Join us!
- JAIME MUNGUIA def. LIAM SMITH by UD (116-111, 119-110, 119-108)
- ALBERTO MACHADO def. RAFAEL MENSAH by UD (120-107, 120-107, 120-107)
ROUND BY ROUND
JAIME MUNGUIA vs LIAM SMITH
Round 1: Munguia jabs, bouncing on his toes at center ring. Smith lands a sneaky right hand over the top. Hard right hook comes from Munguia but Smith catches it on his glove. Now Smith throws a combination and shoves Munguia across the ring to make a point that he’s strong in there. Smith lands two left hooks but takes a hard left to the body in return. Smith gets in two short shorts at close range to the head and Munguia misses badly on a knockout hook. Munguia goes down to the body and Smith knocks Munguia back with a questionable shot. Smith steals the first round for me. Smith 10-9.
Round 2: Smith is using an earmuff defense to catch most of Munguia’s shots. Munguia still throwing freely, whether or not he makes contact. Two really hard body shots land for Munguia! Munguia lands another one with his left hand! Those were nasty. Smith backs off as he felt the weight of those shots and Munguia tries to target the same area with another left downstairs. Smith lands a crafty combination to the body and head but his punches aren’t as heavy as Munguia’s. Smith lands an overhand right that catches the aggressive Munguia clean. Smith landed some good shots, but I think Munguia did more damage. Munguia 10-9, 19-19.
Round 3: Munguia is looking to load up on all of his hooks. Hard left hook lands to the body and Smith complains about it being a low blow. The ref lets it go and Smith takes out his aggression on Munguia, attacking with a combination. Two shots lands for Smith and Munguia might have a bloody lip. Smith evades Munguia’s attack with some solid defense and finds his counter opportunities. Left hand lands for Smith, who smiles at Munguia. I think Smith outboxed Munguia in this round. Smith 10-9.
Round 4: Munguia tries to walk in on Smith which is giving Smith chances to time the forward momentum. Hard left hook lands clean for Munguia! Smith is backing up as that shot made an impression. Munguia loads up with a few more hooks and Smith knows he needs to defend these shots responsibly. Right hand to the body land for Munguia. Now Smith lands a right hand to the body and then the head. Munguia tries two huge left hooks that were designed to knock Smith out the ring — too bad he whiffed. Now Munguia goes to the body to end the round. Munguia 10-9, 38-38.
Round 5: Both fighters trade jabs at center ring, Munguia’s are heavier. Munguia lands two left hooks to the body and head and Munguia whacks Smith with his left hand over and over again! Munguia taunts him to ‘come on’ as he stalks Smith and wants to get into a tear-up — right now it’s a one-sided tear up! Left hook to the body again lands for Munguia. Smith lands an overhand left that doesn’t stop Munguia from coming forward. Now Munguia is taking his turn and is hitting Smith to the body. Munguia 10-9.
Round 6: Munguia tries to come out with a left to the body but comes up short. Now Munguia lands a big right hand to the body and Smith is on the ropes looking a little overwhelmed by the size and power disparity. Munguia lands a straight right to the body but the follow up left hook misses. Smith goes down to the body himself but Smith has to cover up right away once Munguia decided he wants to start throwing. Smith can’t afford to exchange shots with Munguia. Overhand right lands for Smith but he has little pop on his punches. Two uppercuts land for Munguia and Smith goes down by the follow up left hook! Smith gets up at 7 but he wants to hold on until the bell. Munguia 10-8, 58-55.
Round 7: Munguia in attack mode as he stalks Smith around the ring. Munguia lands a straight hand which is followed by a left hook to the body. Smith is throwing less and less as he has to protect himself more and more. Right hand lead lands for Munguia. Two hooks land on Smith’s gloves but he still feels the impact. Hard right hand to the body lands for Munguia. Munguia is attacking as he has Smith on the ropes and Smith is taking some real punishment. This fight should be almost over! Munguia 10-9.
Round 8: Smith tries to jab to the body to keep his distance from Munguia. Munguia misses on two wide hooks upstairs. Right hook upstairs partially lands for Munguia. Smith looks like he’s in survival mode at this point in the fight. Both fighters try trading at center ring and Munguia’s heavier shots make an impression. Now the fighters get tied up and both his the deck to end the round! Munguia 10-9, 78-73.
Round 9: Munguia walks right in and lands an uppercut followed by two big left hooks. Two more uppercuts come from Munguia who has Smith on the ropes and in trouble again. Smith is holding on for dear life! Smith continues to cover up and take lots of heavy punches on his guard. Munguia is looking for the uppercuts on the inside now that Smith can no longer move around the ring after all the body shots he’s taken. Munguia pushes Smith back with shots and then lands two left hooks to the body. Munguia 10-9.
Round 10: Munguia lands a right hand to the body straightaway. Lead left hook to the head lands for Munguia. Now Smith tries to double up a left hook on Munguia but can’t shake him. Hard left hook lands for Munguia who has Smith back on the ropes, covering up. Munguia snaps Smith’s head up with an uppercut. Munguia 10-9, 98-91.
Round 11: Munguia still stalking, Smith still trying to find a way to the finish line. Smith has shown a lot of heart in this fight but he’s in too deep against a younger, fresher, bigger opponent who is just wearing on him. Smith takes a body assault along the ropes but still tries to push his way into Munguia’s chest. Smith takes two more left hooks from Munguia and tries to come back with two of his own. Munguia 10-9.
Round 12: Both fighters hug before starting the final round. Smith tries several jabs to the head and body, then lands an uppercut counter. Munguia stalking Smith around the ring and then lands two hooks to the body. Munguia moving his hands, throwing a bunch of shots as he wants to close the show for the fans. Smith still able to defend himself just well enough to keep from taking the fight ending shot. Two more body shots land for Munguia. Smith tries to make a final stand as he walks forward and throws four shots after tapping his chest. Munguia cuts that offense rather short and we hear the final bell. Munguia 10-9. I’ve got it for Munguia 118-109.
ALBERTO MACHADO vs RAFAEL MENSAH
Round 1: Mensah comes out and flashes a few quick jabs followed by a hook. Machado let’s go a big left hand that gets Mensah’s respect and backs him off momentarily. Machado shows his better timing, landing a good counter shot followed a a lead right hand. Hard one-two lands clean for Machado! Mensah won’t be able to take those shots but for so long. Mensah doesn’t move his head defensively and it’s exactly why Machado is having an easy time finding the mark with his straight shots. Hard right hook lands right on the chin and puts Mensah on the deck! Mensah beats the count but he looks a little blurry-eyed. Bell rings. Machado 10-8.
Round 2: Mensah tries to mount an attack of a jab but Machado counters with well-timed combinations. Two jabs land for Machado. Machado tries to line up a chopping left hand but can’t find the target. Mensah gets in a right hook counter as Machado comes forward which has been a quick tactical adjustment. Machado gets warned for leaning on Mensah’s neck during the clinch. Machado lands a hard combination to the body! Machado 10-9, 20-17.
Round 3:Mensah starts out with a few jabs again to open the round, then tries to bait Machado into a counter right hook. Machado lands a nice left hand to the body and then tries to follow it up but Mensah is able to circle out of danger. Now Mensah walks right into a Machado punch, who then tries to press Mensah to the ropes. Mensah really doesn’t change levels or move his head, and he moves back in straight lines — it’s not really a recipe for success. Machado 10-9.
Round 4: Machado tries to land a wide right hook that Mensah is able to duck. Mensah partially lands a check hook as Machado comes forward but then takes a body shot, followed but another short combination. Mensah tries to return in kind but he doesn’t have the same sharpness on his shots. Machado hits Mensah to the head and body with his lead right hand. Two more body shots come from Machado! Mensah walks right into a hard left hand and is stunned! Machado attacks him relentlessly until the bell and Mensah looks like he’s out on his feet as he needs help finding his corner! I’m giving Machado an extra point for that one. Machado 10-8, 40-34.
Round 5: Mensah is a little better on his feet to start this round — miraculously — but he’s still in pretty bad shape. Machado lands a straight left hand off of a jab and Mensah is just taking a beating along the ropes. I think this fight should be stopped. Mensah’s face is swollen badly and might have something broken in his face. Mensah is completely on the defensive and isn’t in a position to turn things around. This is where fights get dangerous. Mensah’s knees buckle on a shot from Machado but manages to keep his footing. Machado 10-9.
Round 6: Mensah is still trying to make a go of it in this fight but he’s already worn down but all the punishment he’s taken in this fight. Mensah continues to try to circle the ring as he tries to stay away from Machado’s power shots and he’s having a better time of it in this round as Machado might be taking something of a breather, letting the punishment soak in on Mensah. Machado 10-9, 60-52.
Round 7: Mensah’s corner is telling him that he has to get in there and mix it up with Machado now that he’s down on the scorecard. That could be difficult considering the circumstances. Mensah walks into another counter shot from Machado because he never moves his head off the line. Machado pops Mensah’s head back twice with jabs. More jabs land for Machado. Mensah tries to go to the body on Machado but it might be a little too late to turn the tide. Mensah’s trying but it’s not working. Machado 10-9.
Round 8: Mensah lands a right hook but his mouth looks worse — increasingly swollen. Mensah tries a combination but takes a Machado counter. Mensah tries to go to both sides of Machado’s body but Machado is defending well on the inside. Now Machado throws to the body and pushes Mensah back. One-two lands for Machado. Machado goes to the body again to end the round. Machado 10-9, 80-70.
Round 9: Machado comes out with a couple short combinations as he looks to pick his pace back up. Hard left hand lands for Mensah, then another one, then another one! Mensah somehow withstood that onslaught. Right hook lands for Machado, followed by four shots to the body and head. Mensah is still standing somehow! Another straight left hand lands clean for Machado! Machado 10-9.
Round 10: Left hand lands for Machado but Mensah is able to pull back off the impact ever so slightly along the ropes. Counter left hand lands for Machado. Another left hand knocks Mensah into the ropes. This is kind of pointless. Machado 10-9, 100-88.
Round 11: Machado goes on the attack early and backs Mensah along the ropes until they get tied up. The crowd is almost dead quiet because there’s no drama in this fight. Left hand lands for Machado, Mensah grins. Jab lands for Machado, followed by a left hand. Hook from Machado knocks Mensah a little off balance. Machado now lands a solid body shot. Machado 10-9.
Round 12: Long story short: more of the same. Machado 10-9. I’ve got it a shutout for Machado 120-106.