Jaime Munguia kept his unbeaten pro record today in El Paso, stopping Kamil Szeremeta after six rounds of increasingly one-sided action.
Szeremeta (21-2, 5 KO) took this fight on short notice, replacing Maciej Sulecki in a fight that had already been rescheduled from April. The Polish veteran tried his best to stand his ground with Munguia, but found himself clearly out-gunned, simply unable to match the damage that Munguia was doing round by round.
Munguia (37-0, 30 KO) felt it out in the first round, but started picking up the pace quickly in the second, and by the fifth and sixth was pretty much having his way. Szeremeta never went down, but he was eating heavy shots, and his counter punches were doing nothing at all to deter Munguia’s aggression.
“My offense was my defense in this fight. We did different things,” Munguia said through an interpreter. “It’s my third fight at middleweight, I feel more established and used to this weight. The best is yet to come.”
Asked when he might fight for a world title — being ranked No. 1 by the WBC and WBO — Munguia said, “I would like to by the end of the year. If not, a battle between Mexico and Puerto Rico with Gabriel Rosado, he looked really good tonight.” He did say he feels he’s ready for Jermall Charlo or Demetrius Andrade, though.
Gabriel Rosado KO-3 Bektemir Melikzuiev
This is the biggest win of the 35-year-old Rosado’s career, a Knockout of the Year contender, really a magnificent KO, and it came after the veteran had to come off the canvas in the first round, too.
Early on, it looked like Melikuziev (7-1, 6 KO) was just going to be too strong, as he battered Rosado (26-13-1, 15 KO) to the body and forced the Philadelphia scrapper to take a knee in the opening round. But Rosado had openings, too; Melikuziev isn’t much for defense, really, fighting with the confidence he can just overpower all opponents.
This time, it turned out he couldn’t quite do it, and the lack of defense betrayed him big time. With “Bek the Bully” loading up for another left to the body in round three, Rosado hammered him with a right hand that ended the fight, just a monstrous KO.
“He’s a strong body puncher, and I knew that left hook to the body was a problem. He caught me and beat me to the punch, I went down and took my breath,” Rosado said. “I knew I could get him back if I pressed him. I didn’t have to rush. He was gunning for that body shot again, so I just timed him. As soon as I saw him loading up, I caught him.”
Rosado called out Jaime Munguia, too, a fight that he’s said before that he wants. He’d have to go back down to 160 for that, but he surely knows that and doesn’t see it as an issue.
“We beat Danny Jacobs, I don’t care what they say. We beat Danny Jacobs and everyone knows, and we just beat this young kid. I’m back-to-back coming on strong wins, and we want Munguia, baby!”
You have to feel good for Rosado, a hard-working fighter who learned his trade as a pro and has never been a coddled prospect, someone who’s long been better than his record — which everyone has known and accepted as fact. This win gives him minor belts with the WBA and WBO, and more importantly, consideration in their rankings at 168 lbs for the time being. He’ll have options.
BEK THE BULLY DROPS ROSADO IN ROUND 1. pic.twitter.com/wE9ZL01D6q— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) June 19, 2021
GABE ROSADO WITH THE KO OUT OF NOWHERE pic.twitter.com/mOEAP2SChG— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) June 19, 2021
Marlen Esparza UD-10 Ibeth Zamora
This decision was questionable, to say the least. Esparza (10-1, 1 KO) had the CompuBox edge, but this was one where the stats maybe didn’t tell the story of the fight, nor did the narrative on commentary, which favored Esparza as the in-house Golden Boy fighter, though to be fair both Chris Mannix and Sergio Mora also did score it 95-94 for Zamora. We had it 97-92 for Zamora, seven rounds to three with a first round knockdown, too.
It’s hard to see this fight for Esparza, I think, even if you score it even at five rounds apiece, you give Zamora that extra point in the first round and that makes the difference. And despite Esparza’s sprinting out of the corner, which is good optics, she got hit plenty, she appeared to respond worse — she was buzzed badly at least once other than the knockdown — and while it was a very good fight, Zamora seemed the better, more composed fighter.
But the scores were 95-94, 96-93, and 97-92, all for Esparza. The latter two are particularly hard to swallow, and Zamora (32-7, 12 KO) is surely going to rightly feel jobbed here.
The small crowd in the building let their feelings be pretty clearly known, not everyone was riotously booing the decision or anything, but there was a notable rejection of the decision when it was announced and during Esparza’s post-fight interview. In all honesty, there should be a rematch here, but that was never brought up, and Esparza said she’s also not currently that interested in rematching her rival, Seniesa Estrada.
“I really just want all the belts, to be honest,” she said. “Unless it’s gonna be a title eliminator or the world champion, I don’t wanna hear it, I don’t wanna know it.”
What a fight between Ibeth Zamora vs. Marlen Esparza pic.twitter.com/IaYg9x6FCz— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) June 19, 2021
Blair Cobbs TKO-5 Brad Solomon
Blair “The Flair” did his usual job here, putting on an entertaining fight and getting a win, but this was a decisive win and a very good finish. He and Solomon (29-4, 9 KO) were going roughly 50/50 by my eye for a while, but there were indications of two things:
- Cobbs was taking Solomon’s good shots better than Solomon was taking Cobbs’ good shots.
- Cobbs looked fresher and in better condition, like he’d have more energy down the stretch.
Never quite got to the stretch, as Cobbs (15-0-1, 10 KO) put the pressure on Solomon in the fifth round, testing how much the 38-year-old veteran really wanted a fight-fight. Solomon never quite panned out as a prospect and has settled into a familiar role at this point, so the result isn’t a surprise, but he always does give it a go early on, and did here. He landed some good counter shots, as Cobbs is still not a very good defensive fighter and given that he’s 31 and not the 23 or so that you might expect him to be for where his career is, that’s probably just not an option.
The stoppage came as much from pressure as any one shot, as he broke Solomon down. Solomon went down, appeared rattled and hurt, maybe with an eye injury, and referee Rafael Ramos stopped it at 2:57 of the fifth round.
Cobbs is fun to watch, and the sport needs energetic fighters like this, fighters you can count on to entertain, even if they aren’t “pound-for-pound” types. And he does want to step it up, too — during his standard pro wrestling promo after the fight, Cobbs made the challenge to former welterweight titlist Jessie Vargas, which is a good matchup idea. It’s time for Cobbs to keep moving forward, as far as he can. It’s time to find out. He’s not a prospect, he’s going to sink or swim from here.