LAS VEGAS, Nevada, Sept. 15, 2018 – Many of the fans weren’t yet in their seats and the sun was far from setting over the Las Vegas strip when the televised undercard fights on the Canelo vs Golovkin 2 undercard were over. The serious fans in their seats were treated to more action in a shorter time than they could have possibly dreamed of. If you love knockouts, there was a whole lot to love at the T-Mobile Arena – and a whole lot of time to fill before the main event.
Results: Jaime Munguia pounds Brandon Cook into submission
Make no mistake, super welterweight Jaime Munguia is the real deal. The 21-year-old Mexican isn’t a star of the future, he’s become a stay today. Munguia (32-0. 27 KOs) scored a third round stoppage against tough Canadian Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook (20-2, 13 KOs).
Coming off a decision victory against Liam Smith, Munguia was hungry for a knockout win, and Cook was a dish served up piping hot. Cook was overwhelmed from the opening bell, but give him credit for doing what little he could to weather the storm. Nothing was going to stop Munguia.
Munguia is a classic body puncher, and the thudding shots could be heard across the entire T-Mobile Arena. He also mixed in powerful hooks to the head, and it was only a matter of time for Cook. Referee Tony Weeks finally stepped in at 1:03 of the third round when Munguia had Cook pinned on the ropes and began firing at will.
Munguia landed 43 of 147 total punches (29 percent) versus just 13 of 66 total punches for Cook (20 percent). Munguia landed 36 power shots to 12 for Cook.
How to explain the results compared to his previous fight? “I think it’s was more or less myself and my development,” said Munguia. “In my last fight I was a little bit unfocused. I wasn’t focused at all for that fight. For this fight, I was much more focused. It’s part of my development. I was calmer this time around.”
Munguia admitted hunting for the knockout Saturday. “I focused a little bit more, and obviously you see the results now.”
Munguia said he still has a lot to learn. “I’m young, I’m 21. In each fight you see what you did well, what you what you didn’t do so well. You learn from each fight and you gain momentum for the next fight.” This should put fear into the heart of any potential opponent. Might that be one of the other men on the card Saturday, including the main event? Munguia was proposed as a replacement opponent for Gennady Golovkin when the original rematch with Canelo Alvarez was postponed, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission felt he was too young and inexperienced.
“If it comes on the table, I’ll take it,” said Munguia. “I think it would be very exciting, and I’ll keep on moving forward … I want to fight the best to show that I’m the best.”
Cook (20-1, 13 KOs) was still working a full-time job installing windows until six months ago Cook only had five weeks to prepare, but he had been training and didn’t miss a step. Cook took a gamble and he deserves respect for rolling the dice in Las Vegas.
Results: Lemieux destroys O’Sullivan inside one round
Moral of the story: Don’t piss off David Lemieux.
After enduring an onslaught of trash talk from opponent Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan, David Lemieux (40-4. 34 KOs) of Canada made the Irishman from Cork pay a big price. Lemieux delivered a tremendous single punch to O’Sullivan’s chin (28-3, 20 KOs) providing the ultimate rebuttal to the insults with a knockout victory.
Standing squarely in the center of the ring, Lemieux and O’Sullivan were nearly through a typical ‘feeling things out’ first round when Lemieux took the steam out of O’Sullivan, delivering a perfect single left hook just the round ended. O’Sullivan had an awkward forward fall to the canvas and referee Russell Mora wasted little time before waiving off the fight.
“Don’t piss me off guys. I guess the message must be clear,” said Lemieux after the fight. “I was motivated, I didn’t like all the trash talking done to be by the O’Sullivan side. I kept it in me, and I put it into the right timing. I’m a respectable fighter. I train hard, I don’t trash talk, and I don’t respect that kind of behavior.”
Lemieux is a large middleweight. He rehydrated to 179 pounds, which is cruiserweight territory. Lemieux weighed 15 pounds more than O’Sullivan at the opening bell. He shrugged it off. “I always rehydrate to 179, 178. I’m a heavy middleweight. I felt great, I’m in superb shape. I always give you guys a good knockout, a good fight. I hope you’re happy.”
O’Sullivan pointedly remarked on this after ruefully congratulating Lemieux on the win. “Unfortunately, this is boxing. I got caught, and it just so happens it was a 179 light heavyweight who caught me. That was a big weight discrepancy at fight time.”
Lemieux in position to fight winner of Canelo vs. Golovkin
It was a far better performance out of Lemieux than his recent outing against WBO.middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. Lemieux said he was fighting at 50 percent against Saunders. “He’s an excellent technician, he moves around the ring … Against Billy Joe I was not at my top, that’s it.”
In the round, Lemieux landed 22 of 79 punches (28 percent), with 19 of them power punches although he only needed one of them. O’Sullivan landed just 8 of 25 punches, half of them power punches.
Lemieux now moves forward as the WBA mandatory challenger to the winner of the main event between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. Does he have a preference? “They’re two excellent fighters. I’m looking forward to fighting both of them, the winner. But there’s no middleweight like David Lemieux.” Lemieux said he wasn’t particularly rooting for either man, saying he’d like to fight both – but tipped his hand slightly. I once fought Golovkin at his peak. Maybe in the future Golovkin will fight Lemieux at his peak,” said the Canadian.
O’Sullivan will need to adjust his thinking to avoid becoming a gatekeeper for the rising stars. His entertainment factor will keep O’Sullivan in the mix for some time to come.
Results: Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez returns to form against Fuentes
Roman ”Chocolatito” Gonzalez (47-2, 39 KOs) showed a return to form in his first outing after two difficult losses. Up on his toes and ripping to the body, Gonzalez stopped Moises Fuentes (25-6-1, 14 KOs) of Mexico at 1:45 of the fifth round. Gonzalez showed some flashes of the former pound for pound champion skillset. Admittedly, Fuentes was not in the ring to present much of a challenge to Chocolatito, merely an active partner in the resurrection dance.
Gonzalez seemed uneasy at first, but quickly settled in and got to work. Fuentes suffered a significant cut to the forehead at the end of the second round. It may have given Gonzalez enough confidence to bring out the swift snap and combination punching that made him a star. He started moving in much closer in the fourth round, dishing out punishment if not the power shots of his prime years. In the fifth round as Fuentes decided to trade and see if he could get anything done against the onslaught, Gonzalez landed a picture perfect overhand right. Fuentes hit the canvas and there was zero doubt the fight was over.
“I’m very thankful for this opportunity,” said Gonzalez after the fight. “It’s a great comeback to be on the Canelo vs. Golovkin card. I can’t wait because I am a step closer to becoming a world champion.”
Gonzalez showed compassion for his opponent Fuentes after the fight ended. “When he hit the floor, I got very worried for him and I panicked. When he regained consciousness, and I prayed for him and I told him that I hope God blesses him, his family, and his career. I asked for him to forgive me, because this is the job that we chose and that I didn’t mean to hurt him.”
Next step for Gonzalez in his comback
Gonzalez landed 145 of 390 total punches (37 percent) including 122 power punches, to 47 of 244 total punches for Fuentes (19 percent), with just 46 power punches landing.
Gonzalez hopes to win another super flyweight title before ending his career. A fight with Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico on the next “Superfly 4” card in the spring could be in play with a solid win. Estrada still believes he was robbed against Gonzalez when they fought for the WBA world light flyweight title, and he’d like to avenge that loss.
Gonzalez’s legacy is not at risk. He remains one of the most powerful small fighters who ever lived, a certain Hall of Fame candidate. He is soft-spoken and God fearing outside the ring, and speaks earnestly of his relationship with God. Whether this begins a real redemption or merely the beginning of the final chapter of his career, Gonzalez says he wants people to see him as “somebody to give them hope,” that it is possible to come from nothing and become successful.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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