Munguia vs Rosado: Boxing thrill ride is Saturday’s top ticket in Anaheim
Anaheim, Calif., Nov. 12, 2021 – This weekend’s best fight matchup and a potential Fight of the Year candidate prove belts and records don’t have a lot to do with a fight’s entertainment value.
Middleweight contender Jaime Munguia of Mexico (37-0, 30 KOs) will test his future against veteran “King” Gabe Rosado of Philadelphia (26-13-1, 15 KOs) at the Honda Center in Anaheim Saturday night. The fight airs on DAZN with the main event card starting at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT. Undercards will air on the Golden Boy Boxing Facebook Watch page.
In his first 12 round fight in 2018, Munguia got the boxing world hyped about his future with a dominating fourth-round TKO win over Sadam Ali to win the WBO World Super Welterweight title. It seemed the sky was the limit for Munguia, who was just 21 years old at the time. RING Magazine had named him Prospect of the Year.
In 2021, fans are still waiting for Munguia to fulfill the promise shown that night. His struggle to escape with a majority decision against Australian Dennis Hogan still haunts him. Munguia moved up to middleweight in 2020, but the pandemic has stalled his progress.
Trainer changes key to Munguia and Rosado’s rebounds
Don’t let Rosado’s record fool you. This battle-tested veteran has fought everyone, and several of his losses reflect bad decisions, especially the loss to Daniel Jacobs. Look at the resume: Gennadiy Golovkin, Jermell Charlo, Peter Quillin, Alfredo Angulo, Kassim Ouma, Joshua Clottey, and David Lemieux. And hey, he played Leo “The Lion” Sporino in the movie Creed.
Rosado won his opportunity to face Munguia in June. Intended merely as a gatekeeper, he delivered a magnificent Knockout of the Year candidate in his upset victory over super middleweight prospect Bektimir Melikuziev of Uzbekistan. He stole the show that night in El Paso from Munguia in the main event, facing minimal resistance from opponent Kamil Szeremeta of Poland (21-2, 6 KOs) in six rounds of solid work for a TKO win.
Golden Boy executive and fellow Philadelphia native Bernard Hopkins celebrated with Rosado along with trainers Freddie Roach, Marvin Samodio, promoter Oscar De La Hoya, and the entire crowd. Munguia said after the bout, he’d be open to the matchup. Bravo to Golden Boy and matchmaker Gomez for putting it together.
Both fighters made recent trainer changes. This will be Munguia’s fourth fight training with Erik Morales in Tijuana and Rosado’s third with Roach.
“I feel like this has been the best training camp I have had my whole career. I feel good, I feel strong, and we are ready,” said Munguia. He says the move to middleweight was the right one. “My body feels stronger, and I feel better. I think teaming up with Erik has improved my technique, we have made a great team, and I have learned a lot from him. And I think this Saturday we will show off everything we have worked for and have learned.”
Rosado: ‘I have never given up on myself’
Unlike Munguia, Rosado is dropping from super-middleweight for this bout. “Freddie and I are coming off some good momentum. We had a great camp, great sparring, and truthfully it was a camp where I was locked in from beginning to end,” said Rosado.
“Experience is what is different, locking in and training with a Hall of Fame trainer who just guides me. I have never given up on myself. I have always worked hard and have always believed that I could be a better fighter. And I look forward to proving that on Saturday.”
Rosado looked strong at 159.6 pounds on the scale Friday; Munguia weighed the 160-pound limit.
Betting lines show Munguia a strong favorite, but absolutely no one is counting Rosado out.
It will be up to the right game plan and the proper execution.
The wild card in Rosado’s case (see what I did there, boxing heads?) will be whether he throws caution to the wind and engages in a toe-to-toe brawl from the opening bell.
Rosado is the naturally bigger and more aggressive fighter. He needs to temper his tendency to go all out in the early rounds against Munguia. Rosado can’t risk getting caught the way he did in the first round against Melikuziev. He said he mistimed his counterpunches, but when he nailed the Uzbek’s timing and pattern, it allowed him to score the knockout.
Roach says he saw the need to improve Rosado’s stamina and his ability to play cat and mouse with opponents to lure them in, while also pushing Rosado to be more aggressive when it counts. “He’s in far better condition now. We were able to lure the last guy in and knock him out, and I think this guy (Munguia) is pretty much the same type.”
The knockdown demonstrated is Rosado’s stamina and will. He has a veteran’s composure, and he got up, got himself settled down, and won his right to face Munguia.
Rosado credited “pure heart and the will to win” and the refusal to go home with a second loss. His career now has new life at age 36.
Prediction: Rosado in nine rounds
Munguia has less wear and tear and has fought less than half the pro rounds as Rosado. He has plenty of power, and at a decade younger, has a natural advantage in stamina. He can box, but he can also be outboxed. His best weapon is his body punching. It was a body shot by Melikuziev that caught and dropped Rosado. He was fortunate to weather the storm. What Munguia must look for and exploit is any mistake by Rosado to repeat this.
Both men want a chance to win the Canelo sweepstakes, especially Munguia. It’s not the best game plan to win the fight, but it’s a calculated risk for Munguia to try and put on a fan-pleasing offensive show to sell the next matchup. If Roach has taught an old war dog a few new tricks, Rosado might welcome this. Rosado is prone to cuts, yet another X factor.
A Rosado win would be an upset given his age and record, but it’s not as big an upset as the oddsmakers think. If Rosado wins, he’s got a movie script in the making where he can play the starring role. We’re upset-minded this weekend. For the sheer drama of it, we’ll predict a Rosado win by ninth-round TKO.
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