For four rounds Jimmy Kelly (26-3, 10 KOs) gave Jaime Munguia (40-0, 32 KOs) something to think about but a disastrous fifth dashed any dream of an upset of the year contender.
During the build-up Munguia had been criticised for fighting Kelly, a mismatch deemed by many. The Mexican’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya revealed to Ariel Helwani this week that he didn’t know who the Brit was. Hopefully Kelly gave them something to remember.
The pale skinned Wythenshawe fighter and his work quietened parts of the partisan crown inside Anaheim’s Honda Centre.
Kelly caught everyone by surprise in round two launching himself at Munguia and landed a right hand followed by two lefts that were clearly signs of trouble for the former world champion.
Kelly was proving to be a problem and used the shoulder roll for evasiveness. Chants of “Meh-ico” filled the arena. Kelly then got the better of an exchange and after the break rocked Munguia’s head back.
“Don’t get greedy,” trainer Arnie Farnell warned his charge.
Munguia figured his British foe out in the fourth. He was getting the better of each important moment and grew in confidence.
Kelly was full of life for the next frame but was soon warned by referee Thomas Taylor for excessive holding. The underdog pulled back from a tussle and got tagged by a left hook that almost put him out the ring.
Kelly wanted to get straight back to work but Munguia never needs a second invitation and piled on the pressure forcing Kelly to take a knee. Referee Thomas Taylor had seen enough as win number 40 was celebrated by Team Munguia.
Watch the three knockdowns courtesy of DAZN Boxing on Twitter:
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) June 12, 2022
Munguia told DAZN’s Chris Mannix afterwards:
“I knew that I was losing the first three rounds so what I had do was to follow my strategy by working the body and slowing him down,”
“I had to work punches through the inside, like the uppercut.”
Munguia was then asked about fighting one of the top middleweights:
“I want to say what Oscar said to Jermall Charlo, to come out here, show some balls and stop hiding behind Al Haymon and fight me.
“I think it would be a great fight for everyone and or all of boxing we will.”