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Jaime Munguia: Jimmy Kelly has nothing to lose, I can’t look past him

Jaime Munguia says he won’t take Jimmy Kelly lightly on Saturday.

Jaime Munguia says he’ll take Jimmy Kelly seriously as an opponent
Jaime Munguia says he’ll take Jimmy Kelly seriously as an opponent
Cris Esqueda/Golden Boy

Jaime Munguia returns to action on Saturday, main eventing a Golden Boy card on DAZN against Jimmy Kelly, a fight that came together on short notice, barely got an undercard officially announced ahead of time, and features a B-side its promoter has never heard of before.

Riveting stuff, huh?

But we’ve said many times over the years that while boxing fans or pundits or anyone else not actually getting in the ring can overlook a fight, fighters themselves cannot afford to do that. And Munguia expressed that sentiment, too.

“I have to be careful with Kelly,” he said at Wednesday’s media workout. “I know he is coming with nothing to lose and everything to gain so I have to make sure not to let my guard down.”

Munguia (39-0, 31 KO) and Kelly (26-2, 10 KO) are set for a “super middleweight” fight here, which may be a full 168 or a catchweight between 160, Munguia’s normal decision, and 168. Neither man is really a super middleweight, so the assumption was that this was a one-off for Munguia, a stay-busy fight where, lacking any title to fight for, there was no reason for either man to boil all the way down to 160 to make weight.

But something Munguia said about his training camp hints that 168 may be in his future before too long, too.

“We decided to make the move to Big Bear in search of sparring partners. I am getting bigger and need sparring partners of my size,” he said. “Although Otomi does have great fighters, the issue for me is the size and also, less fighters are willing to go out there for sparring.

“In Big Bear we are in the boxing hub of Southern California and have more access to fighters willing to make the drive for a sparring session.”

So the 25-year-old Munguia may move up sooner than later, perhaps because he is getting bigger, perhaps because the opportunities for him there may simply be easier to make.

But first he has to take care of Jimmy Kelly on Saturday. Chances are, being honest, he will do so without a lot of trouble, but you have to fight the fight.

Bad Left Hook will have live coverage for Munguia vs Kelly on Saturday, June 11, starting at 8 pm ET.