Jaime Munguia currently sits amongst the top fighters in the middleweight division rankings.
Munguia will test the 168-pound division and also test himself against a worthy former world title challenger in one fight.
The unbeaten Munguia will square off against Sergiy Derevyanchenko tonight at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. The 12-round bout will headline a four-bout card that will stream live on DAZN (8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT).
At Friday’s weigh-in, both Munguia and Derevyanchenko weighed in at 167.4 pounds.
The Munguia-Derevyanchenko clash is a matchup of middleweights that are ranked in the top 10. Munguia and Derevyanchenko are currently ranked No. 3 and 4, respectively, by the WBC. Munguia is also ranked No. 3 by the WBO.
Both are boxer-punchers who throw an abundant amount of punches that could make this an all-action fight.
“This is a can’t-miss fight,” Eric Gomez, President of Golden Boy Promotions, told BoxingScene Friday. “(This is a) Fight of the Year, guaranteed.”
Munguia (41-0, 33 knockouts), who resides in Tijuana, Mexico, is on the doorstep of fighting for a world title belt. Who that will be remains to be seen, but there has been preliminary talks of Munguia fighting the likes of then-unified world middleweight titleholder Gennadiy Golovkin and WBC world middleweight titleholder Jermall Charlo.
The 26-year-old last fought on November 19 in a stay-busy fight, knocking out Gonzalo Gaston Coria in the third round. Entering tonight’s clash against Derevyanchenko, Munguia has stopped seven of his last eight opponents.
Tonight will also mark Munguia’s first as a legit super middleweight. Whether he remains at this weight or moves back down to compete and fight for a world title remains to be seen.
“He will decide (what is next),” said Gomez.
Munguia is trained by former four weight-division world champion Erik Morales.
Derevyanchenko (14-4, 10 KOs), who is originally from Feodosia, Ukraine and now resides in Brooklyn, New York, defeated Joshua Conley by unanimous decision in his last bout on July 30. The win over Conley snapped a three-bout losing streak, to the likes of Golovkin, Charlo and unbeaten Carlos Adames in December 2021.
The 37-year-old defeated Tureano Johnson in August 2017. Derevyanchenko lost to Daniel Jacobs in October 2018 with the vacant IBF middleweight title on the line.
In the co-main event, Shane Mosley, Jr. (19-4, 10 KOs) will face D’Mitrius Ballard of Temple Hills, Maryland in a 10-round middleweight bout.
The 32-year-old Mosley weighed in at 160 pounds, while Ballard weighed 159.8 pounds.
Mosley, who was born in nearby Pomona and now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, defeated Mario Lozano by unanimous decision in his last bout on February 18. Mosley has won his last two bouts since a close majority decision loss to Jason Quigley in May 2021.
Ballard (21-1-1 1 ND, 13 KOs) has not fought since a third round technical knockout loss to Munguia on February 19 of last year.
Mariana Juarez (55-12-4, 19 KOs) will square off against Mayeli Flores (9-1-1, 3 KOs) in a 10-round junior featherweight bout. Both fighters reside in Mexico City.
In flyweight action, Ricardo Sandoval (21-2, 16 KOs) of nearby Rialto will face Rocco Santomauro (22-1, 6 KOs) of Los Angeles in a 10-round bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing