Jaime Munguia will fight Sergiy Derevyanchenko on June 10 at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, Calif. headlining a Golden Boy Promotions card on DAZN.
For the 26-year-old Mexico native, it’s the fights that aren’t happening that continue to dominate the narrative around his career.
Munguia (41-0, 33 KOs) – a former 154-pound beltholder – will be making his 168-pound debut against Derevyanchenko (14-4, 10 KOs) after a lackluster seven-fight stretch at middleweight.
After vacating his junior middleweight title, Munguia has faced middling competition from 2020 to 2022 and scored wins against Gary O'Sullivan, Tureano Johnson, Kamil Szeremeta, Gabriel Rosado, D'Mitrius Ballard, Jimmy Kelly, and Gonzalo Coria.
Fights against Jermall Charlo, Gennadiy Golovkin, and even a hail-mary attempt at light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol never materialized.
Munguia shared the reasoning behind why the big-time fights are escaping him.
On Bivol: “It was a very real opportunity to fight Bivol. We were in talks with them, several proposals back and forth but for whatever reason, the fight really couldn't be done.”
On Triple G: “Golovkin is a fight we've wanted. In the beginning, they looked for us, then we started going after them. But as of late he hasn't said anything if he wants to fight or not so it's disappointing that the fight hasn't been made but I think it's an easy fight to make and hopefully, we can make it sometime in the future.”
On Charlo: “Obviously now with the success of Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia, I think it makes things a little bit easier with the TV networks Showtime and DAZN. It's a fight that we've wanted and looked for but Charlo hasn't fought in two years, so we have to wait and see when he wants to come back but that's a fight we still want to make.”
The 10-year professional Munguia is still in search of a career-defining fight.
Derevyanchenko will be a respectable foe and Munguia’s best opponent since Liam Smith in 2018, but the 37-year-old Ukrainian has lost four out of his last six bouts and his best days are behind him.
The prolific amateur nicknamed “The Technician" is a polished boxer, however, who could perhaps give Munguia serious fits if a tactical bout unfolds come fight night.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.