Promoter Eddie Hearn is stomping mad about highly ranked Jaime Munguia choosing not to challenge WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade for his title.
Munguia has won five fights since moving up to 160 in 2020, but his opposition has been less than impressive.
Munguia (39-0, 31 KOs) has chosen not to use his mandatory status at 160 to challenge WBO champion Andrade for his title, and Hearn is not happy about it.
Hearn is being given grief by boxing fans for him not setting up big fights for the unbeaten Andrade (31-0, 19 KOs), but there’s nothing he can do about it when you’ve contenders like Munguia, 25, choosing not to use his mandatory status to fight for a title.
Last Saturday night, Munguia defeated an obscure fighter D’Mitrius Ballard by a third round knockout in the main event on DAZN at the Plaza Monumental in Tijuana, Mexico.
Like many boxing fans, Hearn admitted that he’d never heard of the 28-year-old Ballard (21-1-1, 13 KOs) before last Saturday.
Munguia not fighting Andrade
“Everyone says, ‘When are we going to get Demetrius Andrade a big fight?” DAZN is saying it,” said Eddie Hearn to the DAZN Boxing Show in reacting to Jaime Munguia’s win last Saturday over D’Mitrius Ballard.
“Why does no one say to Jaime Munguia or Golden Boy, ‘Why don’t you fight Demetrius Andrade for the world middleweight title?'” Hearn continued. “Why do you think Jaime Munguia and Golden Boy will NOT fight Demetrius Andrade?
“What has boxing become?” Hearn said in reacting to being told by the DAZN hosts that Munguia and Golden Boy won’t fight Andrade because he’s a tough fight for them.
“They [Munguia & Golden Boy] won’t fight him [Andrade] because he’s a tough fight. Wow!” said Hearn.”It’s for the world middleweight title. He [Munguia] was the light middleweight champion, and he moves up to become a two-weight world champion.
“I love Jaime Munguia. The scenes in Tijuana [for his last fight against Ballard] were unbelievable. Let’s just break down his opponents over the last three or four fights,” Hearn said about Munguia.
It appears to some boxing fans that Munguia is being fed soft opponents to keep him unbeaten long enough to get a big money fight against IBF middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
If Munguia can keep winning long enough to fight GGG, he’ll make a huge pile of dough from that fight to last him a lifetime potentially.
Hearn critical of Munguia’s record
“D’Mitrius Ballard, I really don’t mean to be disrespectful about D’Mitrius Ballard. I hadn’t heard of him before that fight [lat Saturday night against Munguia]. I work in boxing. I’m a boxing historian if you like. I’d not heard of Ballard.
“Gabe Rosado, a great fighter but. Before that, who is the one before that? [Kamil Szeremeta]. I can’t even remember. I rate him [Munguia]. He’s very exciting.
“[Promoter] Sampson Lewkowicz talking about David Benavidez. ‘Yeah, if we’re going to fight Demetrius Andrade, we want more money than what we’d get fighting Canelo Alvarez.’
“‘We want seven or eight million to fight Demetrius Andrade.’ It’s so frustrating to me because people say to me, ‘Eddie, when are you going to deliver this guy a big fight?’ Literally, they won’t fight him.
“You’ve got a guy there [Benavidez], who’s management [Lewkowicz] is saying he would more money than what would be offered or he would get to fight Canelo Alvarez to fight Demetrius Andrade. He said seven million wasn’t enough to fight Demetrius Andrade.
“When he [Munguia] moved up to middleweight, he was the automatic mandatory for Demetrius Andrade. Super Champion going up, he’s the mandatory position. He [Munguia] said, ‘I don’t want that mandatory position.’
“Since then, DAZN has mentioned it to him in the past. Oscar [De La Hoya] knows boxing. Boxing is an incredibly bright boxing brain. He knows like you said, that an incredibly difficult fight. So what do you do? ‘We’ll just leave that one and we’ll fight D’Mitrius Ballard instead.’
These are the fighters Munguia has fought at 160:
- D’Mitrius Ballard
- Gabe Rosado
- Kamil Szeremeta
- Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan
- Tureano Johnson
Why Munguia hasn’t stepped up?
“Yeah, I understand two or three nice paydays, nice gimmes [for Munguia]. But at what point are you going to say to Jaime Munguia, ‘it’s time for you to have a real fight.’
“I’m sure the viewing figures are great, but even if it’s not Demetrius Andrade [for Munguia to fight]; Derevyanchenko, Charlo. I don’t care who it is, it doesn’t necessarily have to be one of those guys.
“But when you’ve got a guy on the same platform and you’re mandatory to him to become a two-divison world champion, you should never be avoided.
“This isn’t about Jaime Munguia, by the way. He’s a fighter and he probably believes he could beat Demetrius Andrade. It would be Golden Boy, it would be Zanfer Promotions and you would go, ‘Demetrius Andrade,’ and they would go, ‘No thanks,’ and that’s how the conversation would go.
“It’s very flattering to Demetrius Andrade, but also it’s extremely frustrating,” said Hearn.