Canelo vs Munguía Betting Preview: Álvarez Ready to Take on Young Challenger

May 1, 2024
3 weeks

Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez has an intriguing challenger ahead of him for the undisputed middleweight championship. Online boxing news shows that Canelo is set to take on a fighter six years his junior, Jaime Munguía. While many people had been clamoring for Canelo to fight David Benavidez, a fight Canelo is reportedly not interested in, a fight with Munguía doesn’t seem like a bad consolation prize.

Munguía, 27, has been a professional fighter for the past 11 years. During that time, Munguía built up a professional record of 34-0. While Munguía has yet to hold a world title, he won the WBC Silver super middleweight title in June 2023 and defended that crown in January.

Fighting Canelo will be a step up the ladder for Munguía. Canelo has 64 professional fights under his belt and has won world championships in four weight classes. He is the only man to have unified the super middleweight championship belts.

While Canelo is a healthy favorite to win this fight, he isn’t as heavily priced as he has been in the past. Many expect this contest to hit the scorecards. Canelo is a savvy veteran fighter in plenty of title fights. Munguía still needs to prove he can handle the bright lights.

Canelo Has Money on the Mind

Canelo is now moving toward his mid-30s and isn’t as active as he was. His recent schedule has shown he only wants to fight twice a year. Canelo’s schedule shows that there isn’t much time left to schedule a fight with Benavidez.

Canelo said in an interview that he would only fight Benavidez if he was paid $150 or $200 million. But the matchup with Munguía will give a good impression of where Canelo is at this stage of his career. He hasn’t won by knockout since November 2021.

Since knocking out Caleb Plant, Canelo has gone 3-1 and all four of those fights have gone to a decision. Canelo needs to take advantage of the younger man’s mistakes in this fight. This is a major step up for Munguía.

Álvarez won’t necessarily have the cardio edge in this fight. Álvarez is an energetic fighter, but Canelo should have the edge in the ring. Canelo has become smarter since he’s gotten older.

Munguía Needs to Temper His Attack

Being on such a major stage isn’t easy in any industry. It doesn’t matter how confident you are or how prepared you are. Munguía will have to battle nerves, expectations and pressure.

Munguía will likely have several moments early in the fight where he wants to surge forward and try to put the pace on Canelo. That’s where he may be open to making mistakes. Munguía will need to try to lean on his jab to open the door for longer combinations against Canelo. If Munguía can open the door, he may have a fighting chance to spring an upset.

Munguía is 43-0 in his career but hasn’t caught traction at the top level yet. Munguía’s last victory was a ninth-round TKO of John Ryder in January. Munguía is a fighter who isn’t afraid to absorb punches from his opponents in order to fire back.

During Munguía’s career, he has won 34 fights via knockout. Three of his previous four wins all ended inside the distance. Employing an aggressive style against Canelo should be exciting, but it is also a good way to get put on your back if you aren’t careful.

Canelo Isn’t Done Yet

In most sports, it seems like the highest-performing athletes have found a way to extend their careers into their late 30s. Canelo has still appeared sharp and has been taking on high-level challengers. While Benavidez is still out there, Canelo is focused on Munguía.

There is always the chance that this could be the fight when Canelo shows his age. Canelo hasn’t put many fighters away in recent years and will have to work hard to continue to fight in 12-round bouts as he ages. But experience will be a factor in this one. Canelo has enough tricks to lean on in order to pick up a decision win in this one.

Best to consider: Fight to go the distance, Canelo by decision

Barrios Hopes to Build Back to the Top

Mario Barrios is attempting to rebuild his reputation after losing back-to-back fights to Gervonta Davis and Keith Thuman. Barrios is a -1100 favorite against Fabian Maidana. Madiana has a strong record, but doesn’t have a lot of experience on the world stage.

Barrios won the vacant WBA Fedebol super welterweight title back in 2016. However, since then Maidana hasn’t been back in the title picture. Barrios was 26-0 going into his fight with Davis in June 2021. After the losses, Barrios won the vacant WBC Continental Americas welterweight title.

Barrios won’t want to lose his momentum against a lightly regarded challenger.

Bets to consider: Fight ends inside the distance, Parlay Barrios ML

Figueroa Looks to Add Another Win to His Resume

Brandon Figueroa is a highly-regarded super bantamweight fighter. Since losing his first fight in a majority decision in November 2021, Figueroa has been able to get back on the horse with two straight wins. He is also a heavy -1400 favorite to win his fight against Jessie Magdaleno.

Magdaleno hasn’t been especially active recently. He last fought in April 2023, a decision loss to Raymond Ford. Since 2020, Magdaleno has only fought three times. Magdaleno had a good run in 2016, capturing and defending the WBO junior featherweight crown.

Since then, Magdaleno hasn’t done much in the ring. It’s hard to imagine him giving Figueroa many problems. Figueroa still has world title aspirations and likely sees Magdaleno as another speed bump on his way to the crown.

Bets to consider: Figueroa by KO, Under 8.5 rounds

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By Dean McHugh.