I spoke briefly with Kathy Duva at the Alvarez vs Kovalev 2, final press conference and she said The Krusher is well prepared and ready to take back his title. She also welcomed a challenge from Texas Champ, Alfonso “El Tigre” Lopez and said “The Krusher” never turns down a challenge.
At last weeks Munguia vs Inoue championship bout held in Houston, the City of Houston had only one representative on the fight card, Alexis Santana of Aztlan Boxing Gym in Spring Branch. I interviewed Alexis and his Coach Jose Vasquez before weigh-ins. Alexis would ultimately lose a four round decision on fight night but fought well and made the Houston fight crowd proud with his performance and courage.
Photos courtesy of Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
On Saturday January 26, 2019, Golden Boy Promotions brought World Championship boxing back to Houston, Texas, at The Toyota Center. The fight card featured two world title bouts, a national title bout, boxers from Mexico, Argentina, Japan, China, Puerto Rico, three boxers from Dallas, and one boxer from our hometown, Houston, Texas, giving the card and venue a genuine world title atmosphere.
Many in Houston were naturally disappointed that Golden Boy Promotions chose not to use the occasion to promote hometown talent, with the only fighter from Houston on the card taking his bout on short notice and being brought in as the “B” side, but the fans still came out in large numbers, giving The Toyota Center an electric atmosphere.
The card as a whole was an astounding success due mostly in part to the co-main and main events both being fierce battles that exceeded expectations and the fans that packed The Toyota Center loudly cheered every bout on the card.
Results were as follows:
George Rincon (6-0,3 KOs) Dallas, Texas, beat Emmanuel Valadez (5-7,4 KO’s) Agua Prieta, Mexico, by TKO at 1:36 of the first round.
Rincon, who boxes from a left-handed stance, immediately attacked the body of Valadez at the start of the first round, and promptly began landing thudding shots that that left Valadez hurt and dazed. After knocking Valadez down once with his blistering body attack, Rincon continued his assault, forcing the referee to step in and save Valadez from further punishment and possible injury. Valadez left the ring under his own power but in obvious pain, and holding the left side of his rib cage.
Alberto Melian (4-0,3 KO’s) Buenos Aires, Argentina, beat Edgar Ortega (10-2-2, 5 KO’s) Mexicali, Mexico, by TKO at 1:33 of the tenth round.
The bout pitted the hard punches and aggressive style of Ortega against the superior technique and movement of Melian. Both fighters had their moments during the fight but it appeared to have been favoring Ortega until he got caught and knocked down in the tenth round. After Ortega was knocked down he was visibly stunned and after he took more punishment from Melian, the referee stopped the bout at 1:33 of the tenth and final round. Ortega for his part fought well but could stand to add some finesse to his attack, especially as far as footwork is concerned. Melian, an accomplished amateur and Olympian, still fights in the amateur style and will need more professional experience before he could be considered a legitimate contender.
Alex Rincon (6-0,5 Ko’s) Dallas, Texas, beat Jeremy Ramos (10-6,4 KO’s) by 6 round unanimous decision.
Rincon, who like his younger brother boxes out of a left-handed stance, had the better technique and skill set but his opponent Jeremy Ramos was game and gave a good account of himself.
The first round was fought on even terms with both boxers letting their hands go and both having success during the round.
The second round picked up where the first left off with several good exchanges but I gave Rincon the edge due to his superior technique.
The third round was another good round fought on mostly even terms but the edge went to Ramos in this round because he landed the harder punches in the round and hurt Rincon.
In the fourth round Rincon came back and took back the momentum of the bout with a technical, measured attack that was more effective than the fierce but less technical style of Ramos.
The fifth and sixth rounds were still exciting and fiercely contested but Rincon was now in control and he finished the bout in fine fashion, proving himself to have been the better boxer but more importantly also a genuine fighter as was and is Ramos.
Vergil Ortiz Jr (12-0, 12 KO’s) Dallas, Texas, beat Jesus Valdez (23-5-1, 12 KO’s) Huatabampo, Mexico, by fifth round TKO.
The bout was dominated by Ortiz for the majority of the time but Valdez did come to fight and did land some sneaky punches from the left handed stance. (On a side note I found it to be odd that soo many boxers on the card fought from the left handed stance and wonder if they are all legitimate left handed persons or more likely right handed persons boxing out of the left handed stance.)
The story of the rounds were the same as Ortiz was the better schooled boxer with the better technique but Valdez doing his best to be competitive. Ortiz was ultimately too strong and energetic for Valdez though and the referee stopped the bout in the fifth with Ortiz having winning every round before the stoppage.
In fight of the year up until this point in 2019, Xu Can (16-2, 2 KO’s) Kumming, China, beat Jesus Rojas (26-3-2, 19 KO’s) by twelve round unanimous decision, taking the WBA Featherweight Title from Rojas in the process.
In a fierce battle that saw both boxers refuse to give ground or stop punching from the start of the bout until the final bell, we saw skill, technique, determination, indomitable spirit, and heart being displayed at it’s highest levels. Both fighters fought the entire twelve rounds aggressively, mostly on the inside, using short, tight punches and good defense, throwing an incredible four, five, and six punch combinations at a time. The bout was fought on even terms and both fighters took turns it seemed, taking over the momentum of the bout, Rojas with a slight edge in power, but Can possibly having the edge in conditioning. Rojas never did slow down entirely but he did seem to tire a bit in the late rounds, which likely gave the razor thin edge to Can and ultimately allowing Can to take the decision.
Rojas may have had issues making weight which could have led to his slight drop in energy late in the fight. Rojas had to weigh-in nude to make weight and shadow boxed in slow motion at the media day workouts.
Regardless of the decision this was an outstanding bout where both boxers raised their stock in the process and a rematch would likely be another fight of the year.
” I don’t feel the decision was correct. I don’t know what to say. I’m surprised. I spoke to Golden Boy Promotions , and I want a rematch.”
“Before I came here, I knew it was going to be a very hard fight. So I got ready for this fight. I did a lot of work for this. So, thank you to everyone. I respect my opponent, Rojas, my friend, he’s very tough, but I knew I can win!
When asked where his power came from?
“It’s from China, I am Chinese! I knew I can defeat this fighter, I knew I can defend his punch, even though he’s very strong. I just punched, and punched, and punched.”
When asked who he wants to fight next?
“I’m not scared of anyone”
Jaime Munguia (32-0, 26 KO’s) Tijuana, Mexico, defended his WBO Junior Middleweight Title with a 12 round unanimous decision win over Takeshi Inoue (13-1-1, 7 KO’s) Tokyo, Japan.
The roles both boxers would take took form in the first round as Inoue immediately began moving forward towards Munguia, throwing hard punches, and Munguia uncharacteristically giving ground as he moved laterally around the ring and jabbed. Munguia was able to land his jab and follow up with combinations at times but the punches didn’t seem to faze Inoue at all, as he continuously attacked behind a high guard.
In the second, third and fourth rounds Inoue began having success as he bulled Munguia towards and onto the ropes and landed short, chopping punches, in particular the overhand right to the side of Munguia’s head. Munguia landed combinations and some good body punches, but seemed to be having trouble doing his best work while moving back and to the sides, as Inoue forced him to do, largely through sheer will.
The fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth, rounds saw the pattern of the fight stay the same, Inoue having almost no defense, moving in with his hands held high and taking the combinations of a retreating Munguia, and Munguia doing his best to fight off and hurt Inoue, while also taking hard right hands to the left side of his head. The rounds were possibly being won by Munguia because he landed more punches, but the harder and more dramatic punches were landed by Inoue, as he was catching Munguia solidly with those right haqnd punches.
In the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth rounds Munguia was able to get his offense going a little better than before as he began landing more combinations and sometimes appearing to hurt Inoue, but Inoue was still controlling the pace and still occasionally landed those solid right hands knocked the sweat off of Munguia’s head. Munguia was doing nice body work but was also landing many low and borderline low blows that went ignored or unnoticed by the referee. Munguia did complain of getting hit on the back of his head with those overhand rights, but he seemed to be exagerating a bit as most of those punches were landing onto his ear, although some did hit the back of his head in the last few rounds.
At the end of the day Munguia did defend his title and win the twelve round decision, but the fight was much closer than the judges scores indicated. Also as in the co-main event, both boxers raised their stock with their performance in this writer’s opinion, with Inoue proving he deserved his shot at the title and also that he is deserving of another shot, possibly even a rematch, and Munguia proving that he is indeed a genuine fighter, that is able to face adversity and perservere, and not just a hype job. Although Munguia may not have had the performance he wanted, it was likely the best kind of learning fight for him at this point and will defintely help him improve.
“With 31 wins and no loses, Munguia is not just a power puncher but also a great boxer. We both had skills to kill each other’s boxing style, but he was the better fighter tonight. I hope to get better and come back to the United States to fight again.”
“It was a great fight, he was a great warrior. It was a great battle for me. I was surprised by him, he did great, but I’ll take the title home, I got the win, and that’s all that matters”.
In the swing bout of the night Alexis Santana (0-1) Houston, Texas, dropped a four round decision to John Rincon (2-0, 1KO) Corpus Christi, Texas.
The bout between Santana and Rincon pitted the refined movement and footwork of Rincon against the power and determination of Santana, with Rincon coming out on top by a points decision at the end of four rounds. Both boxers fought well and both boxers proved they deserved their opportunity to fight on a the big stage.
I spoke to Santana’s coach Jose Vasquez, after the bout and he had this to say:
“Alexis came to me about three months ago with about twenty five amateur fights under his belt and when we were offered this bout we knew that we were going to be the “B” side because Alexis had yet to make his professional debut, and his opponent has an extensive amateur career, plus the fact that we were offered the fight at the last minute. With all those things considered I advised Alexis that this was likely not a good set of circumstances to start his professional career out on. Alexis was confident he could beat this kid though and he felt very strongly about being able to represent Houston, since there were no other Houston fighters on the card. I agreed with Alexis that he could possibly win this match so we ended up taking the fight and I’m glad we did because even though my boxer didn’t get the decision, he fought well and he made me and I think all of Houston proud with his performance. ”
This writer agrees that Santana deserves special recognition for his courage, determination, and pride in representing his hometown and I also believe he did a great job in the ring. Santana has great potential and with the great instruction he is receiving, his future looks bright.
Every fighter on the Mungia vs Inoue, World Championship Boxing card, made weight yesterday at Houston’s Pitch 25 Bar and Restaurant, and all parties are ready to rumble. The event will be held at The Toyota Center with doors opening at 4 PM and first fight to begin at 4:30. The DAZN portion of the show begins at 8 PM. Here are a few pictures from yesterday’s weigh-ins, don’t miss the show tonight! If you can’t make it to The Toyota Center, make sure you tune in on the DAZN app!
Golden Boy Promotions held the final press conference for the Mungia vs Inoue World Junior Middleweight Title bout to be held on January 26, 2019, at The Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
All the participants in the press conference were cordial, respectful, and professional in their demeanor today but it was evident that all parties were a bit more high strung than in yesterday’s media day workout. There weren’t as many smiles to go around this time and every boxer who participated in the press conference, looked primed for combat.
The only laughs and smiles came when young boxing sensation Vergil Ortiz Jr. expressed his happiness to be fighting in Texas, so that he could go eat at Whataburger immediately after his scheduled ten round bout.
Here’s the Mungia vs Inoue, Junior Middleweight World Championship fight week schedule. Events
will start on Wednesday January 23, 2022 with the media workouts, and will end with the January
26, 2019 live event and post-fight press conference. Hope to see everyone there!
MUNGIA VS INOUE / January 26, 2022 MASTER FIGHT WEEK SCHEDULE
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23: MEDIA WORKOUT(OPEN TO THE PUBLIC)
11:00 AM FAN ARRIVAL at BBVA COMPASS STADIUM NORTH PLAZA
location: BBVA Compass Stadium- North Plaza
2200 Texas Avenue, Houston, TX 77003
11:00 AM MEDIA CHECK-IN BEGINS (MUST ALREADY HAVE PRESS PASS)
*Media Parking: North Lot, off of Prairie Street
12:00 PM MUNGIA vs INOUE MEDIA WORKOUT BEGINS (OPEN TO THE PUBLIC)
location: BBVA Compass Stadium- North Plaza
2200 Texas Avenue, Houston, TX 77003
12:00 PM - George Rincon and Alex Rincon
12:20 PM - Vergil Ortiz Jr.
12:40 PM - Takeshi Inoue and Xu Can
1:00 PM - Jesus Rojas
1:20 PM - Jaime Mungia
THURSDAY, JANUARY 24: FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE
11:00 AM MEDIA CHECK-In BEGINS (MUST ALREADY HAVE PRESS PASS)
@ Toyota Center, Labranch entrance at Labranch and Polk
12:00 PM MUNGIA VS INOUE PRESS CONFERENCE
1510 Polk Street, Houston, Texas 77002
FRIDAY, JANUARY 25: WEIGH-INS (OPEN TO THE PUBLIC)
Location: Pitch 25 Restuarant and Bar
2120 Walker Street, Houston, Texas 77003
2:00 PM DOORS OPEN FOR FAN ARRIVAL
2:30 PM MUNGIA VS INOUE OFFICIAL WEIGH-INS BEGIN
SATURDAY, JANUARY 26: MUNGIA VS INOUE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP EVENT
Location: Toyota Center
1510 Polk Street, Houston, Texas 77002
4:00 PM TOYOTA CENTER DOORS OPEN
4:20 PM FIRST FIGHT BEGINS
8:00 PM DAZN LIVE BROADCAST BEGINS
AFTER MAIN EVENT POST-FIGHT PRESS CONFERENCE
Location: Toyota Center - Press Interview Room
After taking some time off from the prize ring, former local amateur standout and current 5-1 professional prospect Cris Morales, returns to action on Thursday January 17, 2022 at The Humble Civic Center.
Morales has been out of the ring since November of 2017 but has been working hard for his return, training at the Martinez Boxing Gym in Mid-town Houston for months. For his return bout he will be facing grizzled veteran Guadalupe “The Butcher” Perez, in a bout that promises to bring excitement.
From a fighting family of boxers, Morales has been away from competition for a while but hasn’t been far from a boxing ring during his time off, training and sparring in the gym regularly, as well as participating in The Kenny Weldon Sparring Celebration, in honor of the late Kenny Weldon, in May of 2018.
The Thursday Night Fights series will also feature Jonathan Foreman (5-0,5 KO’s), Chance Battenberg (1-0,1 KO) and Dondrell Haynes (3-0, 3 KO’s) as well as several other bouts as Promoters Joe Dumas and Roy Foreman do their part to help keep local boxing alive in Houston and the Houston area.
The event will be held this Thursday January 17, 2022 at The Humble Civic Center at 8233 Will Clayton Parkway, Humble, Texas 77338. Doors open at 6:15 PM and first fight will begin at 7 PM.