New opponent for Jaime Munguia in push for WBO middleweight title shot

📷Stacey Verbeek

Middleweight contender D’Mitrius “Big Meech” Ballard (20-0-1, 13 KOs) will step in to face Jaime Munguia (36-0, 29 KOs) for the WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Championship after Maciej Sulecki was forced to pull out of the fight due to an injury.

The event will now take place on Friday, April 23 at The University of Texas at El Paso’s Don Haskins Center and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN worldwide, excluding Mexico, beginning at 6:00 p.m. PT/7:00 p.m. MDT/9:00 p.m. ET.

The event will be held under strict COVID-19 fan safety protocols and with a reduced event capacity below 40%. For detailed COVID-19 event safety fan protocols, click here or visit http://www.utepspecialevents.com.

Updated ticket information is available at the bottom of this release.

“D’Mitrius Ballard has been deserving of an opportunity like this for a while now,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “This is the chance to finally demonstrate to the world that he’s ready for the top guys in the division. We wish Maciej Sulecki a quick recovery, but we also we want to emphasize that Ballard is no mere replacement. He’s a real threat.”

Ballard is a 28-year-old contender who boasts a decorated amateur career in which he won several national championships. In 2013, the native of Temple Hills, Maryland began his professional career with a knockout victory against Kelly Henderson. Since then, Ballard has steadily moved up the rankings, taking on tough competitors such as Victor “Sina” Fonseca and Alan “Amenaza” Campa. Ballard, who is anxious to make his mark on the division on April 23, is coming off a majority draw against Olympic bronze medalist Yamaguchi Falcao.

“I feel very fortunate and blessed to have the opportunity to fight against Jaime Munguia,” said D’Mitrius Ballard. “I feel extremely blessed especially because of the condition the world is now in with COVID-19 and all the issues we are facing. This is the perfect opportunity to really showcase who D’Mitirus Ballard is and demonstrate my boxing abilities. I’m going to use this fight to re-introduce myself to the world.”

“These things happen in boxing, and I’ve always had the mentality that I have to be prepared for any opponent,” said Jaime Munguia. “I know that D’Mitrius Ballard is a great fighter with a lot of experience as an amateur and a professional, so I expect to deliver a great fight to get even closer to the world title opportunity.”

Munguia vs. Ballard is a 12-round fight for the WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Title presented by Golden Boy in association with Zanfer Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate “The Official Beer of Boxing” and Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle.” The fight will take place on Friday, April 23 at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN worldwide, excluding Mexico, beginning at 6:00 p.m. PT/7:00 p.m. MDT/9:00 p.m. ET.

Tickets for Munguia vs. Ballard are on sale now and are priced at $200, $100, $60 and $35 not including applicable service charges. In an effort to promote social distancing, tickets will be sold in pods/groupings of 2, 3, 4 and 6 people only. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call 915-747-5234. Tickets will also be available for purchase at http://www.utepspecialevents.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

Fans who have already purchased tickets for Saturday, April 24 and would like to still attend Munguia vs. Ballard, your tickets and seating location are still valid for the new date and no further action is required. Ticket buyers who purchased tickets for April 24 through Ticketmaster or the UTEP Box Office and would like a refund, you can go back to your original point of purchase and request a full refund. Refund requests will be honored up until Wednesday, April 14.

Fans who purchased tickets on StubHub, or any other secondary ticket provider, should contact the provider’s customer service staff regarding the impacted date change. The UTEP box office, nor Ticketmaster, are not able to facilitate any credits, exchanges or refunds for tickets not purchased directly through them.