It’s up to Jaime Munguia to close the deal now that he is down to one option.

As previously reported by, Tijuana’s Munguia was recently removed from the WBO middleweight title picture after stalling on plans to next face Kazakhstan’s Janibek Alimkhanuly (11-0, 7KOs) in an interim title fight. The sanctioning body moved forward with a newly ordered fight between Alimkhanuly and England’s Danny Dignum (14-0-1, 8KOs), while Munguia continues to mull an offer to next face WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo as this goes to publish. has learned that Munguia’s team is in advanced talks for a potential showdown with Charlo, a two-division and long-reigning middleweight titlist. A deal has yet to be reached for the fight which—as previously reported by senior writer/columnist Keith Idec—is being targeted for June 18 in Charlo's hometown of Houston. Texas.

Representatives from the WBO did not respond to a prior inquiry seeking comment on the delay in calling a purse bid, with the ten day deadline following the February 22-ordered fight having passed without an official response. has learned, however, that Munguia—a former WBO junior middleweight titlist who is the number-one middleweight contender with the WBO and the WBC—and his side recently confirmed interest in proceeding with the WBO interim title fight. That communication came with the assurance that they were not moving forward with the offer from Showtime and Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) to face Charlo.

That dynamic has dramatically changed in recent days, with Munguia and promoter Fernando Beltran—Munguia’s promoter in Mexico, while primarily represented by Golden Boy Promotions in the U.S.—informing Mexican media that they were interested in fighting for a real title, leaving the Charlo fight as the frontrunner in this two-horse race.

It was enough for the WBO to take action.

“We love our former junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia, but the show must go on,” Francisco ‘Paco’ Valcarcel stated Friday afternoon on Twitter, shortly before the sanctioning body announced its plans to move forward with Alimkhanuly-Dignum.

Tijuana’s Munguia (39-0, 31KOs) had leverage in both scenarios in that he represented the most attractive opponent available for both Charlo—who hails from the greater Houston are—and Kazakhstan’s Alimkhanuly (11-0, 7KOs). However, he is not necessarily in a position of power in either scenario and now not at all as it relates to the WBO.

The interim title fight was always going to involve Alimkhanuly, who emerged as the mandatory challenger to the full title currently held by Demetrius Andrade (31-0, 19KOs). Munguia entered the mix only after Andrade opted to take a fight at super middleweight and Brazil’s Esquiva Falcao intentionally priced himself out of a fight with Alimkhanuly, as the 2012 Olympic Silver medalist remains the IBF mandatory challenger.

The WBO turned to Munguia, who remained number one despite twice having declined to enforce his mandatory status since assuming the ranking. Munguia was nine days removed from a third-round knockout of D’Mitrius Ballard in his Tijuana hometown when the WBO ordered him to enter talks with Alimkhanuly. The ten-day deadline along with a generous yet unofficial extension elapsed without a clear indication of Munguia’s plans before realizing he was no longer proceeding with the fight.

That now leaves Charlo as his only option, though one that will also come with a deadline.

Charlo eyes the fifth defense of the WBC middleweight he has officially held since June 2019. The former junior middleweight titlist previously held an interim version of the middleweight belt, which was upgraded once the WBC created a ‘Franchise’ title allowing distinguished boxing champions and superstars to represent the sanctioning body without being limited to mandatory title defenses. In this case, it was Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez who was presented with tge first ‘Franchise’ title, with Charlo serving as the benefactor.

Four title defenses have followed, all of which have aired on a Showtime platform. In his most recent start, Charlo outpointed Mexico’s Juan Macias Montiel over twelve rounds last June 19 in Houston. The fight served atop a Showtime Championship Boxing telecast celebrating Juneteenth, now a federal holiday in honor of the Emancipation Proclamation first issued by the late U.S. President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 to free African-American slaves, with Texas the last state in the Confederacy to honor the order on June 19, 1865.

It is hoped that Charlo will headline the weekend, whether versus Munguia or another middleweight in the event the unbeaten Munguia turns down the fight. Details of Charlo’s next confirmed fight date are expected to be revealed during a recently announced virtual press conference to be held March 15 by Showtime Sports who will reveal the entire upcoming boxing schedule on its platforms.

Whether or not Munguia accepts terms is not expected to hold up the announcement.

Should Munguia accept the offer, it will mark his Showtime debut after having previously appeared exclusively on DAZN and HBO before that dating back to his May 2018 WBO junior middleweight title winning knockout over Sadam Ali. Munguia had three junior middleweight title fights each on HBO and DAZN, all coming in a 16-month span.

Following a fourth-round knockout of Patrick Allotey in September 2019, Munguia began the process to become a middleweight contender. He officially vacated the title by year’s end, making his middleweight debut with a January 2020 stoppage win over Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan. Four fights have followed since the pandemic leading to his present-day scenario of potentially challenging for a title in a second weight division.   

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox