Don’t these promoters know we only have two eyes?
Saturday was beyond busy for combat sports fans, with two major boxing cards and two huge offerings from the biggest MMA companies. The end result was a night that had everything we love about combat sports-violence, blood, controversy, crazy knockouts, brutal submissions, new stars emerging, and that feeling that can only happen when two great competitors push each other to a new level, and we as fans, are lucky and blessed enough to be along for the ride…
After Lomachenko-Linares opened the night and as UFC presented their latest pay per view, Bellator MMA and HBO Boxing vied for their slice of the combat sports fan pie. The end saw both platforms focus some hot action and lift some potential new stars.
Two weeks ago, Jaime Munguia was only fighting with disappointment. His promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, had made an honest attempt to put him in as a replacement for Canelo Alvarez to fight Gennady Golovkin on May 5. But for whatever reason, the Nevada State Athletic Commission wouldn’t approve Munguia as an opponent, despite a record of 28-0, with 25 KOs. It was a bad deal.
But then he accepted an offer on two weeks’ notice to replace England’s Liam Smith in a 154-pound title match against Sadam Ali, the man who upset and retired Miguel Cotto last December. It was an offer he couldn’t refuse and Munguia stamped himself as a star when he knocked Ali in the fourth round to win his first world title. The much bigger man, he came out and dropped Ali with a right to the body/left hook to the head combination a minute into the bout. Munguia dropped Ali again the first with a series of right hands, but Ali survived the round, only to get dropped by a series of left hooks in the second round.
Ali, a natural welterweight who only came into this division to be served up to Cotto, had no answers for the bigger man’s combinations. He desperately tried to get his legs moving and land some punches in the third, but Munguia’s superior reach always kept the champion in range. Then in the fourth round, a single lead left hook dropped Ali and the ref had seen enough. It was a divisive victory for the Tijuana, Mexico native who is going to be a freaking problem a 154 and 160 for a long time.
The craziest thing about Munguia — he’s only twenty-one years old.
No matter what your taste for combat sports is, there was something for you to like this Saturday. The whole have one thing on your TV while something else on your computer and another thing on your phone can be frustrating, but it is bearable if we are seeing good fighters in a good fights, and if that’s all you crave, we should pray that every Saturday will be like last Saturday.