Jaime Munguia (39-0, 31 KOs) picked up his fifth consecutive win since moving up to 160 on Saturday night with a third round stoppage victory over D’Mitrius Ballard (21-1-1, 13 KOs) at the Bullring by the Sea in Tijuana, Mexico.
In rounds one and two, Munguia looked slow & sluggish, but in the third, he caught the previously unbeaten Ballard with a left hook that wobbled his legs, causing him to retreat to the ropes.
Moments later, Munguia knocked Ballard down with a heavy shot to the head that put him down face-first on the canvas. Munguia then unloaded on the still hurt Ballard after he got back to his feet, forcing the referee to step in and stop the fight. The time of the stoppage was at 1:47 of the third.
Munguia too powerful for Ballard
The fight looked competitive in the first two rounds, as Ballard found success when he charged forward throwing repeated jabs. Where Ballard’s game fell apart was him choosing to back up against the ropes at the end of round two and during round three.
By fighting with his back against the ropes, Ballard couldn’t evade the heavy shots from the much bigger Munguia, who looked like a light heavyweight inside the ring tonight.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) February 20, 2022
After the fight, Munguia expressed interest in challenging IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin next. That’s probably not going to happen unless Golovkin fails to get the Canelo Alvarez fight in September.
If Golovkin doesn’t get the fight with Canelo, Munguia has got a good shot of facing him. Golovkin will still need to win his unification fight with WBA champion Ryota Murata in early April for a fight with Munguia to happen.
Interestingly, the DAZN commentators remarked that they thought the thin-looking Ballard was the bigger fighter. Wrong. Unless they’re losing their eyesight, it was painfully obvious that Munguia was the far bigger fighter, looking stout like a light heavyweight.
It’s not surprising that Munguia was so huge because was badly drawn at Friday’s weigh-in, and suddenly took ill after weighing in. The way Munguia looked tonight, he rehydrated a huge amount and looked much bigger than he had during the weigh-in.
Munguia appears to have gained weight from his previous fight against Gabe Rosado last November.
Assuming that Munguia is going to stay this size, he’s going to continue to have problems making the 160-lb limit because he’s clearly 168-pounder now. His days are numbered at middleweight, and it’s similar to what we saw with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
He looked the same way when he’d outgrown the middleweight division in his mid-20s. Chavez Jr. got away with melting down for a little while, but eventually, it caught up to him, forcing him to move up to 168 and then 175.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) February 20, 2022
William Zepeda stops Luis Viedas
In an action-packed fight, the hard-hitting lightweight contender William Zepeda (25-0, 23 KOs) overpowered the crafty veteran Luis Viedas (29-12-1, 10 KOs), stopping him in the third round.
This was a fun fight with both fighters hitting the canvas, and Zepeda making it interesting with his nonstop pressure. Looking like a young Julio Cesar Chavez, Zepeda stalked Viedas around the ring, nailing him with huge shots.
In the second round, Zepeda landed a scorching left to the head that had Viedas hanging partially through the ropes. Moments later, Viedas shockingly dropped Zepeda, catching him with a shot while he was pressing the attack.
It was a flash knockdown. It was a case of Zepeda attacking and getting caught with a shot while he was off-balance, and not ready to take a punch.
In the same round, Zepeda showed off some nifty professional wrestling moves by shoving Viedas to the canvas. Zepeda looked like an angry bull in dropping Vieadas moments later with a beautiful left hand.
In the third round, Zepeda chased Viedas around the ring and knocked him down for the second time in the fight.
Viedas was hurt and was quickly knocked down for the second time in the round from a combination. While Viedas was down on the canvas face first, Zepada hit him with a hard right hand on the side for good measure.
Yeah, it was highly illegal, but oh well, the referee failed to call it and the fight was stopped at that point. The time of the stoppage was at 1:51 of round three.
Zepeda has got the power to be competitive with anyone in the division, but he’s got to work on his roughhouse tactics because that stuff won’t fly against the elite-level fighters.
The referee will be on their job when Zepda fights the talented opposition. They’re not going to let Zepeda shove his opponents to the canvas and hit them while they’re down like he did tonight.