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War Zone: Munguia battle tested by Rosado in decision win

Written By | Nov 14, 2021
Jaime Munguia was pushed to his best ever performance by Gabriel Rosado. Photo: Kevin Estrada, Golden Boy Boxing Munguia battle

Jaime Munguia was pushed to his best ever performance by Gabriel Rosado. Photo: Kevin Estrada, Golden Boy Boxing

Anaheim, Calif., Nov. 13, 2021 – It was one of the best one-sided fights you’ll ever see. After 12 brutally hard rounds, the speed and relentlessness of Jaime Munguia of Tijuana, Mexico (38-0, 30 KOs) were too much for Gabriel Rosado of Philadelphia (26-14-1, 15 KOs) to overcome. The pair went the distance in front of an elated, engaged crowd at the Honda Center in Anaheim. Scores were 119-109, 118-110, and 117-111. We scored it 117-111 for Munguia.

“This was my toughest fight so far,” said Munguia. “It was a great fight that everyone enjoyed. He was a strong, experienced opponent. I enjoyed this fight.

“Rosado took a lot of punches. Four, five, six at a time. He’s a strong fighter coming down from 168 pounds. Credit to him,” said Munguia. Munguia admitted he didn’t think it would go the distance.

Gabriel Rosado buzzed Jaime Mumguia several times, but it was't enough. Photo: Kevin Estrada, Golden Boy Boxing Munguia battle

Gabriel Rosado buzzed Jaime Mumguia several times, but it was’t enough. Photo: Kevin Estrada, Golden Boy Boxing

“He was very resilient. He did catch me a few times, but I think after the ninth round, I really dominated the fight. I felt really good, very strong, but I need to work on some things,” said Munguia.

In his third fight with trainer Erik Morales, Munguia has improved both his hand speed and combination punching. In this fight, he rarely threw just a single shot. He worked with a variety of punches. Right and left hooks intermixed with uppercuts were all working for Munguia.

Rosado withstood the offense well, and he was never out of the fight to the final bell. He had the better individual moments. In the fifth, sixth, and ninth rounds, Rosado caught Munguia with hard right hooks and buzzed him. Munguia handled it well, holding when he needed to and gathering himself.

As the fight wore on and ticked down through the championship rounds, Rosado tried to find the opportunity for the single shot that could turn the fight around for him, but it slipped through his grasp. Munguia stayed too busy and too defensive to let it happen. This is the version of Munguia fans have waited to emerge since his surprising win over Sadam Ali.

“Both fighters were very brave in coming forward,” said Erik Morales after the fight. “Rosado was very resilient. A very exciting fight for fight fans.”

Rosado: ‘I felt like I won’

Jaime Munguia’s speed and youth were too much for Gabe Rosado. Photo: Kevin Estrada, Golden Boy Boxing

Rosado was naturally disappointed. “I felt like the scorecards were too wide. The fight was a lot closer. He never hurt me, but I was sure hurting him. I thought the fight was a lot closer. It is what it is. Every time I went to the body I was hurting him.”

“I knew it would be a war, and I did everything I could to win. I didn’t find Munguia difficult, and the scorecards are bullshit. I felt like I won.”

Trainer Freddie Roach gave credit to both fighters. “They gave it their all. I thought the fight was closer than what it was scored as. but that’s the way it is in boxing.”

Rosado’s experience and heart kept him in the fight. His performance is why he remains so popular with fans despite the numbers on his record. It’s worth more watching Rosado even in a losing effort than most fighters who dial in a win. He refuses to give In and gives it his all.

Munguia said before the fight, he and Morales had been working on his technique. “Next time, you’ll see even better,” said Munguia after his performance.

“We’re waiting for a world title shot or an elimination shot in the coming year. I’m ready for either one.” Asked whether he might have interest in fighting an opponent one denied to him, Gennadiy Golovkin, Munguia answered with enthusiasm.

“Absolutely. A GGG fight would be very good. The public would love that one, so I’m excited about that fight.” Munguia’s priorities are a title eliminator or title fight in 2022.

“Munguia showed a lot of heart, and Rosado showed a lot of guts,” said Golden Boy founder Oscar De La Hoya. “I want to thank both of them for giving us a Fight of the Year.”

If Golovkin wins in Japan, make it Oscar’s New Year’s resolution to make Golovkin vs. Munguia happen.

Alexis Rocha thrills the hometown crowd

Hometown favorite Alexis Rocha gave his fans the fight they wanted. Photo: Kevin Estrada, Golden Boy Boxing

Alexis Rocha of Santa Ana (18-1, 12 KOs) put in more rounds than he expected, battering Jeovannis Barraza of Barranquilla, Colombia (23-2, 15 KOs) around the ring for eight hard rounds before the accumulated damage was too much in the eyes of referee Ray Corona to let the tough Barraza continue. The time of the stoppage was at 43 seconds of the ninth round.

Rocha worked hard to the body, going upstairs with hard hooks to stop Barraza, who refused to yield. Rocha took some shots, but they weren’t ever hard enough to make him overly cautious. It made for a fan-friendly fight in front of his local Orange County, California fans. The work didn’t hurt the 23-year-old Rocha at all as he works his way back from his single loss to Rashidi Ellis in 2020.

Ballard, Zepeda, Muciño all win

D’Mitrius Ballard worked hard to shake off his ring rust and stay undefeated. Photo: Kevin Estrada, Golden Boy Boxing

D’Mitrius Ballard of Temple Hillas, Maryland (21-0-1, 11 KOs) overcame a slow start, winning unanimously over Paul Valenzuela Jr. of Santa Rosalia, Mexico (26-10, 17 KOs). All cards read 98 – 92. Valenzuela Jr. is a volume puncher who had enough energy to dance in the ring between rounds. He would have been better off putting the effort behind some power shots. Ballard threw just enough well-placed hard shots to take the rounds he needed to win. Blame ring rust, perhaps. Ballard needs to get right back in the ring and step up from where he left off to be taken seriously in the middleweight division.

After taking Hector Tanajara apart in July, lightweight William Zepeda of San Mateo Atenco, Mexico (24-0, 22 KOs) did much the same in less time to John Moralde of Miami (24-5, 13 KOs), stopping him at 1:59 of Round 4.

Zepeda is a southpaw all-action power puncher who knows how to set up his shots. He’s gaining a lot of Southern California fans. Easy to see why: Per Lee Groves of CompuBox, Zepeda averaged more than 104 punches per round, far above the 58.1 lightweight norm. In the fourth round alone, Zepeda landed 59 of 107 total punches in two minutes, which translates to roughly 79 of 142 over a three-minute round.

Arely Mucino and Jaky Calvo put on a show for fans in Anaheim, but they didn’t agree with the results. Photo: Kevin Estrada, Golden Boy Boxing


Flyweight Arely Muciño of Monterrey, Mexico (29-3-2, 10 KOs) put on a show for fans with on countrywoman Jaky Calvo of Mexico City (14-6-2, 1 KO). Calvo was the aggressor, and Muciño was willing to dance with her. Calvo buzzed Mucino hard in the third round and even harder in the ninth, dropping Muciño with a right hook. It was right at the bell, and she survived referee Jack Reiss’s count. Both came out slinging hard shots through the final round as an appreciative crowd cheered them to the finish. Calvo and the fans were disappointed when Muciño pulled out the split decision victory, 96-93 X 2, with one 96-93 card to Calvo.

Super bantamweight Asa Stevens of Waianae, Hawaii (2-0, 1 KO) won his first pro stoppage with a first-round TKO of Felix Vazquez of San Diego (0-1). Stevens hurt Vazquez to the body and unleashed the punches until referee Eddy Hernandez stopped the bout at 1:59. “he was taking hard shots to the head, so I had to go to the body,” said Stevens. “It’s like the greatest thing ever. It’s something I dreamed of my whole life, Watching Floyd, Watching Pacquiao. I manifested this.”

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal is an award-winning sportswriter based in San Diego, California. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.

Copyright © 2021 by Falcon Valley Group


Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award-winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.