Jaime Munguia and WBO middleweight champion Zhanibek Alimkhanuly have been ordered by the World Boxing Organization to begin talks for a fight.
(Photo credit: Zanfer Boxing)
Munguia (41-0, 33 KOs) is ranked #1 with the WBO and will need to decide whether to challenge Zhanibek.
Last Saturday, Munguia failed to mention the undefeated Zhanibek’s name following his third round knockout victory over Gonzalo Gaston Coria in their headliner shown on DAZN at the Arena Astros in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Instead, Munguia expressed interest in facing IBF/WBA middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin and WBC champ Jermall Charlo in his next fight in 2023.
“This year, we couldn’t do Charlo, but hopefully, we can do it next year. Golovkin – see you in 2023!”
With the WBO ordering the Zhanibek-Munguia fight, Munguia doesn’t need to ask for a world title shot any longer because he’s got one being given on a silver platter by the World Boxing Organization.
It’s going to look bad if Munguia turns down the guaranteed title shot against Zhanibek and then continues to take tune-up fights against obscure opposition like he’s been doing for the last three years since he moved up to the 160-lb division in 2019.
It’s debatable whether 40-year-old Golovkin and Charlo will choose to defend their titles against Munguia next year because there’s very little upside in facing him. Munguia hasn’t helped his popularity by facing weak opposition.
If the Mexican fighter had faced elite-level fighters in the last six years, he could be a huge star by now, but for some reason, he and his promoters have chosen to take the weaker opposition for sure-thing wins.
It would be an excellent way for Munguia to increase his popularity overnight if he accepted the fight with Zhanibek and beat him. If Munguia picked up a belt at 160, he would be in a better position to get fights against Charlo, Golovkin, and perhaps even Canelo Alvarez.
If Munguia chooses not to fight Zhanibek, he should move up to 168 because Golovkin and Charlo likely won’t fight him. He’s not popular enough for them to waste their time defending against him due to his decision to languish in obscurity fighting weak opposition.
“The WBO World Championship Committee orders the parties herein to commence the negotiations for the above-referenced bout between Jaime Munguia and Zhanibek Alimkhanuly. The parties are granted 15 days to reach an agreement,” per WBO.
“If an accord is not reached within the time frame outlined herein, a purse bid ceremony will be ordered per WBO Regulations
of World Championship Contests.”