Now Jaime Munguia waits.
The middleweight contender put Jimmy Kelly three times and stopped him in the fifth round of a scheduled 12-round super middleweight bout Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Munguia (40-0, 32 KOs) now hopes to get a big fight at 160 pounds, with WBC titleholder Jermall Charlo squarely in his sights.
The Mexican and his American counterpart had agreed to fight next month only to have negotiations break down over television rights. Munguia’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, recently challenged Charlo to make the fight happen.
Jaime Munguía drops Kelly THREE times & finishes the show #MunguíaKelly pic.twitter.com/uFKPsoa6l5
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) June 12, 2022
“I want to say what Oscar said to Jermall Charlo, to come out here, to show some balls and stop hiding behind [manager] Al Haymon and fight me,” Munguia said through a translator after his victory. “I think it’d be a great fight for everyone.
“We hope by the end of this year to make that fight.”
Munguia had suggested that the clever Kelly (26-3, 10 KOs) might give him trouble early in the fight with his boxing ability and movement.
And that’s how it played out for four-plus rounds, as the Irishman poked out his jab, landed power shots here and there and then moved or held to avoid anything Munguia fired in return.
Munguia seemed somewhat lost for much of the fourth round, as if he was groping for a way to slow down his fleet opponent.
Then came the fireworks. About halfway through Round 5 Munguia landed a left hook as Kelly pulled backward, which put him on the behind and hurt him.
Kelly got to his feet and was matching Munguia punch for punch but he went down against from a right uppercut. Once again he got up but he finally sat down under a barrage of punches, which prompted referee Thomas Taylor to stop the fight.
The official time of the stoppage was 2:57 of Round 5.
“It was difficult at the beginning because he’s a slippery, tough fighter who could really take some punches,” Munguia said. “He was trying to do his plan of attack but I had to do my thing, slow him down a little bit and work to the body.”
Munguia came in at 165 pounds for the fight, five more than the middleweight limit and the heaviest the former junior middleweight champ had ever weighed.
He said he felt good at the weight, which gives him an option if he can’t secure a title fight at middleweight.
“I think it helped me out a lot,” he said of extra weight. “I’m ready to go back to 160 to fight for a world title or to move up to 168 pounds. I’m ready for any challenge.”