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Munguia defeats Inoue to retain junior middleweight title

Plus, Xu Can upsets Jesus Rojas for the WBA featherweight title.

Photos: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos / Golden Boy Promotions

WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (32-0, 26 KOs) successfully defended his title on Saturday night, by earning a unanimous decision over Tekashi Inoue (13-1-1, 7 KOs) in Houston, Texas.

Inoue, who was making his US debut, was a significant underdog, but was tougher than expected. Munguia, who is known for his knockout power, landed some punishing hooks to the body and hard right hands throughout the fight, but Inoue demonstrated a helluva chin and withstood it all.

The shorter and stockier challenger put loads of pressure on Munguia, while connecting with overhand rights, but the champion too, showed off a strong chin.

“With 31 wins and no losses, Munguia was not just a power puncher but a great boxer,” said Inoue afterward. “We both had the skill to kill the other’s boxing style. He was the better fighter tonight. I hope to get better and come back to the United States to fight again.”

Though the fight was mainly controlled by Munguia, Inoue gave a great account of himself and never took a step backward, while having a few strong moments in the fight.

Final scores were a bit too lopsided in Munguia’s favor, but clearly won the fight. The judges had it 120-108, 120-108 and 119-109 for Munguia.

“It was a great fight. He was a great warrior,” said Jaime Munguia. “It was a great battle for me. I was surprised by his ability to take punches. He took a lot of punches to the head and to the body. He took punches that would have dropped anyone else. I feel I got a lot of experience from this fight. I will keep working on using my distance. There were times where he was able to cut the distance, and I want to work on that.”

In the co-main event, also televised via DAZN, Xu Can (16-2, 2 KOs) scored an upset win over Jesus Rojas (26-3-2, 19 KOs) to earn the WBA featherweight title via unanimous decision. Scores were 118-110, 117-111, and 116-112.

“This is my second time coming to the USA to fight,” said Can. “Before I came here, I knew it was going to be a very hard fight. So I got ready for this fight. I did a lot of work for this. So, thank you to everyone.”  

“I don’t feel the decision was correct,” said Rojas. “I don’t know what to say. I’m surprised. I spoke to Golden Boy Promotions, and I want the rematch. I think we worked well. I used my jab and I want the fight. Of course, I want the rematch.  

Earlier in the night, Vergil Ortiz (12-0, 12 KOs) stopped Jesus Valdez (23-5-1, 12 KOs) via TKO in the fifth round. Valdez suffered a bad cut over his left eye, causing the fight to be stopped.

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