Despite moving to 40-0 with a 32nd knockout, Mexican star Jaime Munguia got set upon after his victory.
The former world champion returned to Anaheim’s Honda Center as he took on former world title underdog challenger Jimmy “Kilrain” Kelly.
The scheduled 12-round super middleweight fight started slowly as Kelly maintained his distance and waited for Munguia to attack, a strategy he continued throughout the fight. Happy to be the aggressor, Munguia landed strong power punches as Kelly tried and often failed to counter.
By the fifth round, Kelly, desperate, began a display of holding; Munguia attacked, dropping him three times to be declared the winner by knockout at the 2:57 marker.
MUNGUIA UBER DRIVERS
Golden Boy posted a message congratulating Munguia on the win. However, the responses were brutal.
“He must fight bigger names. Such a star and nothing happens with him,” said one fan.
Another added: “Undefeated against 40 Uber Drivers!”
Munguia spoke about his triumph, which promoter Oscar De La Hoya pointed out his fighter was behind at the point of the stoppage.
“It was difficult in the beginning since he’s a slippery, tough fighter, and he could take a punch,” said Munguia.
“He was trying to do his plan of attack, but I had to do my thing and work the body. My mentality was that I was losing the first three rounds. So I had to follow my plan of slowing him down by attacking the body. I figured out that I had to work through the middle and throw punches like the uppercut.
“I think it was the punch that I knocked him down with.”
Munguia continued, “I think this fight helped me out a lot. I’m ready to go back to 160 to fight for a world title or move to 168. I’m prepared for any challenge.
“There are a lot of people who are supporting me. I want to say what Oscar said for Charlo to grow some balls and stop hiding behind Haymon.
“I think it would be great for boxing. We hope that by the end of the year we can get a big fight.”
The defeated Kelly stated: “My strategy was to move and try to frustrate him.
“He’s a strong, patient fighter. But, he just stayed calm and found the opportunity. It was my daughter’s birthday and I missed it which broke my heart.
“I thought I would win but now I have to go back and explain why I lost.”
Also on the card, Oscar Duarte, Yokasta “Yoka” Valle, and Carlos Ortiz registered winning performances.