Undefeated, highly ranked middleweight contender Jaime Munguia will be facing former 154-lb world title challenger Jimmy ‘Kilrain’ Kelly on June 11th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Munguia should make easy work of Kelly, as this guy isn’t a big puncher, and his experience at 160 is severely limited.
This is a curious choice of opponent for Munguia, 25 because he’s capable of fighting much better opposition than this. Golden Boy Promotions are still grooming him following his recent wins over D’Mitrius Ballard, Gabriel Rosado, Kamil Szeremeta, Tureano Johnson, and Gary O’Sullivan.
The 29-year-old British fighter Kelly (26-2, 10 KOs) is coming off a career-best 10-round majority decision win over Kanat Islam on February 25th in Plant City, Florida. Kelly is ranked #8 with the WBO at 160.
In 2018, Kelly lost to Dennis Hogan by a one-sided 12-round unanimous in Brisbane, Australia. Seven years ago, Kelly challenged WBO junior middleweight champion Liam Smith for his title and was stopped in the seventh round.
Munguia is ranked #1 WBO, #2 WBA, #2 WBC, and #8 IBF. With that ranking, he should have already challenged for a world title at 160. Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn sounded frustrated recently at Munguia for not challenging his former fighter Demetrius Andrade for his WBO middleweight title.
Munguia and his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions will take a lot of heat for the choice of Kelly because this is another step down in competition for the former WBO 154-lb champion from Mexico.
In Munguia’s last fight, he fought the little-known D’Mitrius Ballard last February, stopping him in the third round in a headliner on DAZN.
Speaking of DAZN, it would be interesting to know if they have any say-so about the type of fights they agree to stage in the main events on their cards.
“Former world champion Jaime Munguía will return to the ring this June 11 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, to face Britain’s Jimmy ‘Kilrain’ Kelly, according to sources close to the organization of the event,” said Salvador Rodriguez to ESPN MX.
This writer can only imagine why DAZN would give the green light to letting Munguia fight Kelly in the main event on one of their cards because it’ll help increase subscriptions from UK fans.
If DAZN wants to help build their subscription base, matching Munguia against British fighters like Kelly will help. However, the fight does nothing for U.S fans, who likely never heard of Kelly before.
The ones who have seen him fight like this writer remember how dreadfully poor he was in getting obliterated by former WBO 154-lb champion Liam Smith in 2015. Kelly also looked terrible in losing to Dennis Hogan in 2017.
Some believe that Munguia is waiting for WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo to vacate his title to move up to 168 like he’s been talking about recently. Once Jermall moves up to 160, Munguia will swoop in to snatch his WBC title against Carlos Adames.