In a crowd pleasing main event on HBO, Jaime Munguia was able to retain his WBO junior middleweight title with a decision win over former titleholder Liam Smith.
Munguia (30-0, 25 KO) won on scores of 116-111, 119-108, and 119-110. Smith falls to 26-2-1 (14 KO) with the loss.
It was a hard-hitting bout, particularly in the opening four rounds, when the two went back-and-forth and the more experienced Smith had some good success, particularly with his right hand. He was able to expose some very big holes in the 21-year-old Munguia’s defense, but Munguia made adjustments and was able to overpower Smith for the most part as the fight wore on.
By the end, Munguia was throwing the clearly heavier shots, but Smith never went away. He kept coming at Munguia and looking to do damage, a very game performance from the 29-year-old Brit in a losing effort.
Smith was dropped once in the bout, caught on the temple with a left hook that sent him jelly legged and down to the canvas in the sixth round.
“I think I did very well. It was a tough fight but I gave a show to my public,” Munguia said after the fight, adding, “He’s a tough opponent. I was always looking for the knockout, but he’s a tough opponent. Honestly, I went for the knockout, and I always put my heart in it like a true Mexican.”
Asked if he thinks he needs more development before facing the division’s elite, Munguia admitted, “I am a little green, no doubt. But this is experience that will help me.”
Munguia landed 277 of 837 (33%) total punches, including 239 of 586 (41%) power shots. Smith landed 198 of 702 (28%) total punches, and 158 of 489 (32%) power punches.
Here’s the knockdown: