Jaime Munguia started the new year with high expectations and he's not afraid to go public with them.

The Tijuana boxer is scheduled to return to the ring on February 19 against fellow unbeaten D'Metrius Ballard, with DAZN streaming the card.

At 28, Ballard holds a record of 21 victories and 13 of those wins by knockout, one no decision and one draw. Of the 23 fights on his record, the draw with the Brazilian Yamaguchi Falcao stands out. Falcao won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

Munguia closed out 2021 with a very tough twelve round decision win over middleweight veteran Gabriel Rosado.

Beyond the fight with Ballard, Munguia is eager to get a crack at winner of the upcoming middleweight unification between Gennadiy Golovkin and Ryota Murata.

Golovkin and Murata were set to collide last month, with the contest being pushed back when Japan implemented strict COVID-19 protocols that prevented Golovkin from entering the country. 

Their showdown is likely to take place in the first quarter of 2022 - with Munguia hoping to become the opponent for the winner.

“I would like the winner of Golovkin and Murata. I think it would be a good fight with either of them," said Munguia to Un Round Más. "I would like the winner of Murata and Golovkin. And then whoever comes: Charlo, Andrade, Carlos Adames."

Munguia was the WBO's world champion at junior middleweight and made several defenses before moving up to 160-pounds last year. 

The Mexican puncher has now had four bouts at the middleweight limit. At one point he was the mandatory challenger to WBO champion Demetrius Andrade, but does not appear that interested in facing the undefeated beltholder.