Munguia TKOs Spike O'Sullivan
By Robert Ecksel on January 11, 2020
With O’Sullivan out of the way, Munguia is looking forward to future fights. (Tom Hogan)
Saturday night at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, former WBO super welterweight champion Jaime Munguia (35-0, 28 KOs), the young gun from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, won his middleweight debut by stopping Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (30-4, 21 KOs), the tough-as-nails veteran from Cork, Ireland, via 11th-round TKO to capture the vacant WBO Intercontinental middleweight title.
Fighting out of the red corner in maroon trunks, Munguia, who had struggled making the 154-pound limit, made the most of his first fight at 160 and looked better than ever doing it. The 23-year-old slugger continues to impress. His size, strength, and heavy hands will one day cause problems for the many titleholders in the division. With his offense doubling as his defense, all he needs is a little seasoning, and his opponent Saturday night provided that and more.
Thirty-five-year-old O’Sullivan is a serious fighter in a serious sport. Despite being older, smaller, and less powerful than Munguia, there’s not an ounce of quit in the Irishman, despite the favorite’s objective to make him do just that. Munguia’s body work was superb, so superb that he was warned several times about low blows, before finally being deducted a point in round six. Another low blow temporarily halted the action, but it was ruled as accidental and Munguia wasn’t penalized.
But it was, all in all, a terrific fight by two bona fide warriors, each of whom rocked the other several times in a bout with plenty of back-and-forth action, before Spike’s corner threw in the towel.
“This was a new division for me,” said Munguia after the bout. “I felt stronger and with more conditioning, I just needed to adjust my speed to feel fully comfortable. I would give my performance a 7 or 8 because I needed to do a few more things, but we will get there fight by fight.”
Munguia’s promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, deserves credit for not giving him a soft touch in his first fight at middleweight. Munguia dominated the action, but it was competitive and he even “got punched a few times.”
“I feel disappointed,” Spike said. “I was hoping I could win, but I guess I wasn’t good enough to take him down. I just want to go home, spend time with my family and rest. I’ve been away for too long and I think it’s time for me to go and enjoy some time with them. I have made a great sacrifice for this fight, but it’s okay.”
Having gotten O’Sullivan out of the way, Munguia is looking forward to future fights.
“I would like to fight the best of this division,” he said, “Canelo, Golovkin, or the Charlos. I know they have more experience, but I look forward to those fights. I want to thank everyone in San Antonio and Viva Mexico.”
And, last but not least, Viva Jaime Munguia.