Jaime Munguia vs. Gary O'Sullivan fight prediction, start time, live stream, odds, how to watch
Everything you need to know before Munguia and O'Sullivan throw down in San Antonio
After being pushed to the brink -- and arguably deserving to lose -- in a defense of his WBO 154-pound championship against Dennis Hogan, Jaime Munguia lost some shine. Sure, he was still an undefeated, young and talented prospect who had won a world championship by dismantling Sadam Ali and bursting onto the world stage.
Munguia (34-0, 27 KO) rebounded from the controversial majority decision win over Hogan by stopping Patrick Allotey in September. Getting a clean win was a step in the right direction, but it's easy to look at the way the WBO and the Munguia camp refused a Hogan rematch and find a second layer of issue with the 23-year-old's current place in the sport. But Hogan is a tricky fight for anyone and Munguia is just 23.
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Saturday brings the next step in Munguia's career, not just his next fight, but his decision to move to middleweight. Meeting him at 160 pounds will be veteran Gary O'Sullivan, the Irish brawler who has never truly broken through to the upper levels of the sport but sits as a fan favorite. In the Friday Night Fights era, O'Sullivan would be the exact kind of guy you'd regularly see on ESPN serving as a measuring stick for up-and-comers.
O'Sullivan (30-3, 21 KO) brings his absolute best at all times. That isn't always enough, as seen in his losing efforts against Billy Joe Saunders, Chris Eubank Jr. and David Lemieux. His strengths are also liabilities. O'Sullivan comes forward and throws hands, but he leaves openings and against heavy-hitting fighters that eventually cost him. Against Lemieux, it cost him in less than one round. Munguia has good power, but he doesn't have Lemieux power, even if he proves to be stronger at 160 than 154.
While both fighters have vulnerabilities and both fight in similar enough styles, Munguia does it better. That's why the prospect is matched with a guy like O'Sullivan. It's also why Munguia is a -2500 favorite to O'Sullivan's +900 underdog odds at William Hill.
In the co-main event, Franchon Crews and Alejandra Jimenez battle for the WBC and WBO women's super middleweight titles. Crews is on a six-fight win streak since losing her professional debut against Claressa Shields. Jimenez is unbeaten in 13 pro bouts with nine wins coming via knockout.
Jamie Munguia vs. Gary O'Sullivan viewing information
Date: Jan. 11 | Start time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Alamodome -- San Antonio, Texas
O'Sullivan's role is to show up and be a test for the prospect making his move up in weight. Munguia will get to see how it feels to take a real punch at middleweight and will see how his power moves up in weight. That isn't meant to diminish O'Sullivan's skills. He's a capable fighter, but when you break down how the fight between the two looks on paper, it comes down to if O'Sullivan can catch Munguia and if Munguia's chin can't take it. Otherwise, Munguia is simply better at the kind of fight the two will have. The issues Hogan presented are nothing that O'Sullivan brings to the table. So, fans will be treated to a fun toe-to-toe battle before Munguia wears him down and gets the stoppage in the late-middle rounds. Prediction: Munguia via TKO9
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