PREDICTIONS: Who wins Canelo vs Munguia?

Fighting

Canelo Alvarez takes on Jaime Munguia this Saturday in a pay-per-view main event from Las Vegas, defending the undisputed super middleweight championship of the world.

Canelo (60-2-2, 39 KO) fully unified the 168 lb division with his win over Caleb Plant in late 2021, and has made three successful undisputed defenses since then, along with a light heavyweight loss to Dmitry Bivol in 2022.

Munguia (43-0, 34 KO) is finally getting his proper big fight, and it’s quite a leap both in spotlight and competition from where he’s been, though he is a former 154 lb titleholder.

Who wins Canelo vs Munguia?

Scott Christ (15-2)

Canelo’s going to be out for blood when the bell rings on Saturday. The blood he’s out for is Oscar De La Hoya’s, not Munguia’s, but Munguia is the guy he actually has to fight, serving as a representative for De La Hoya. (I’m not saying Munguia sees himself this way, mind you. He seemed indifferent to everything with his opponent and his promoter.)

Canelo seems the type who can craft this idea into a mental strength instead of a distraction, never forgetting or planning for Jaime Munguia, but seeing red because the work is meant for someone he seems to genuinely despise as a human being, who happens to promote Munguia.

I could also be entirely making this up in my own head and it may not reflect reality at all, but really all of this is a guessing game, so whatever. What’s there to say about the fight itself? It’s not a bad fight, but other than youth, Munguia has zero advantages on paper. It’s very hard to imagine a Munguia win that isn’t fluky. He’s dramatically worse technically, doesn’t have the experience at this level, and has struggled with boxers who can’t punch. I think he’s better now than he’s been before, and I actually expect this to be a very entertaining fight, but the outcome just seems so clear. Canelo TKO-7

Wil Esco (13-4)

As far as style matchups go, you’ve got an aggressive puncher with a leaky defense in Munguia going against a more measured counter puncher who packs a pretty good wallop. In some ways I can’t help but view this sort of similar to Canelo’s fight against James Kirkland with the exception that Munguia will actually attempt to box more, and the other fight that keeps coming to mind is Gervonta Davis vs Leo Santa Cruz. I just see this fight falling into a similar category to where the counterpuncher is slick enough to hang tough in the midst of the opponent’s attack and light them up with something big in return.

We’ve seen Munguia take clean shots and not look invulnerable, and while Canelo may be past his prime I think this is a fight that should suit him to gun Munguia down once the two really start exchanging. Canelo TKO-8

John Hansen (13-4)

The fact that Canelo is fighting anyone other than David Benavidez this weekend is bullshit. Munguia at least brings entertainment value and an action-heavy style, but anything Munguia does well is perfectly designed for Canelo to counter and dominate.

Munguia reminds me of James Kirkland in several ways, but with a better head start at a much younger age, and substantially more favorable matchmaking along the way. Kirkland looked great against Canelo for about 70 seconds! But he didn’t look very good beyond that, and he wound up finished in less than three rounds.

Granted, Canelo has aged nine years since then, and his hat size has grown like the Grinch’s joy-filled heart. But even in decline, Canelo is still super tight defensively, has a chin made of stone, and remains one of the most savvy (and savage) counter-punchers of the modern era. If 37-year-old Sergiy Derevyanchenko could rock and threaten Munguia, then 34-year-old Canelo will do much worse. Today’s Canelo only seems to have six or seven rounds of gas in his tank, but I don’t think there’s much chance this fight goes past that point. Canelo KO-6

Patrick Stumberg (14-3)

One of my biggest weaknesses as a boxing analyst (y’know, besides the general incompetence) is that I’ll make a mental picture of a fighter and fail to update it as their career progresses. I know full well that Munguia isn’t the hapless slugger who needed judicial intervention to get past Dennis Hogan or even the one who got pinballed around the ring by an aging, undersized Sergey Derevyanchenko, but I still feel like I have to double-check each of my assessments and make sure I’m analyzing the Munguia who exists now.

Luckily for me, I haven’t seen a version of Munguia that beats Canelo.

It all boils down to defense. Erik Morales has done a fine job of adding technique without compromising what made Munguia effective in the first place, a la Robert Garcia’s work with Marcos Maidana, but the Ryder fight showed that Munguia’s head movement can still stop on a dime when he’s not actively focusing on it. Canelo’s pressure is going to give Munguia so much more to think about than Ryder’s more patient approach did, and it’s hard to see Munguia keeping his brawling instincts in check.

Honestly, I think Canelo can get Munguia out of there. There’s every reason to believe he can do more damage than Derevyanchenko, and while he’s struggled to find the finish these last few years, he’s got a history of handing fighters their first knockout losses. With the durability to walk through Munguia’s best shots, the oppressive style to break down Munguia’s defense, and the accuracy to find the money shot when Munguia gets desperate, Canelo has everything he needs to break his four-fight knockout drought. Canelo TKO-10


Current Canelo vs Munguia odds

At this time, DraftKings Sportsbook list Canelo as a -525 favorite, meaning you’d have to bet $525 to win $100, and Munguia as a +380 underdog.

Canelo is -105 to win by decision/technical decision, and +165 to win by KO/TKO/DQ, while Munguia is +700 to win by decision/technical decision, and +950 to stop Canelo or win by disqualification. A draw result is at +2000.


Quick Picks!

Mario Barrios vs Fabian Maidana

Odds: Barrios -1200, Maidana +700 (DraftKings Sportsbook)

  • Scott: Barrios SD-12
  • Wil: Barrios UD-12
  • John: Barrios UD-12
  • Patrick: Barrios TKO-9

Brandon Figueroa vs Jessie Magdaleno

Odds: Figueroa -1400, Magdaleno +800 (DraftKings Sportsbook)

  • Scott: Figueroa UD-12
  • Wil: Figueroa TKO-7
  • John: Figueroa UD-12
  • Patrick: Figueroa TKO-10

Eimantas Stanionis vs Gabriel Maestre

Odds: Stanionis -1100, Maestre +650 (DraftKings Sportsbook)

  • Scott: Stanionis UD-12
  • Wil: Stanionis TKO-5
  • John: Stanionis TKO-7
  • Patrick: Stanionis TKO-8

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