Canelo Alvarez Wary Of The Threat Posed By ‘Very Dangerous’ Jaime Munguia

April 26, 2024
4 weeks
Saul Canelo Alvarez faces Jaime Munguia on May 4 in Las Vegas

Undisputed super-middleweight world champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has admitted he is worried about facing the “very dangerous” Jaime Munguia next month but believes his greater experience will guide him to victory.

Canelo (60-2-2 39 KO) competes in his first fight of 2024 on May 4 at the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas against his WBO mandatory challenger Munguia (43-0-0 34 KO). His WBC, IBF, and WBA titles will also be on the line, making this the first time in the four-belt era that two Mexicans will contest an undisputed world title bout.

Canelo, who remains the biggest draw in boxing, is seeking a big year after a relatively underwhelming past couple of years for a fighter of his caliber and fame. He fought twice in 2023, securing routine – even boring – points wins over John Ryder and Jermell Charlo.

That followed a 2022 that saw him lose to Dimitry Bivol on his ambitious step up to light-heavyweight and defeat long-time rival Gennady Golovkin, who was well past his best.

Canelo: Munguia Has ‘Earned The Right’ To Fight Me

Munguia represents a far more exciting challenge than his last two opponents. The fellow Mexican has established himself as one of the top fighters at 160lbs, and he impressed in his last fight when he outclassed and stopped Ryder in the ninth round three months ago.

“I think [Munguia] has earned it with the fights he has done, the person he is and it also makes me very proud that another Mexican has earned this opportunity,” Alvarez, 33, said in an interview with TUDN. “It is the first time that two Mexicans will be seen fighting for history, for the four world titles, and that makes me very proud.

“I think he is a strong fighter who has a winning mentality, and I think that the two mentalities that will meet on May 4 are a guarantee of a great fight.”

Munguia could be Canelo’s toughest test since his points defeat to WBA light-heavyweight world champion Bivol two years ago. An effective combination puncher with good awareness of distance and the ability to bang, the 27-year-old from Tijuana has the tools to trouble Canelo.

Benavidez Backs Munguia To Cause Problems

That’s the view of David Benavidez, the WBC interim belt holder and the fighter all fans want Canelo to fight next if the champion emerges with victory.

“Munguia is a strong fighter, he’s a combination puncher, and if you see the fighters that give Canelo problems, they’re combination punchers,” Benavidez said. “The only thing Munguia has to do is keep his distance. He can’t be on the inside against Canelo because that’s what Canelo thrives at.

“Munguia can crack too. You could see that when he fought John Ryder, his power punching. It’s going to be interesting. I don’t think it’s going to be easy like people say it is. Munguia is a tough fighter. He does get hit a lot, but sometimes in boxing, it’s inevitable. You’re going to get hit.”

Canelo himself is aware of the threat Munguia carries, and is counting on his greater experience, particularly in world title fights, to give him the advantage. A world champion at super-welterweight, this will be Munguia’s first world title fight at 160.

“He is a very hungry fighter who throws a lot of punches, a strong fighter, and I think that makes him a dangerous fighter who is going to leave everything in the ring. Of course, it worries me,” Canelo said. “I am also a strong fighter and I have a lot of experience. Sometimes you need some things, sometimes others and I am going to do everything that is needed on May 4 to win.”