Photos by Stacey Verbeek
In San Antonio, Texas, Jaime Munguia (35-0, 28 KO's) had all that he could handle against the tough and rugged Irishman Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan (30-4, 27 KO's) and he prevailed.
Coming into this fight, he was the favorite and many thought it would be a cakewalk, but the Irishman O'Sullivan, who happens to be twelve years older than him, came to fight. The words "War" were written on the front of O'Sullivan's boxing trunks and that is exactly what happened.
Munguia and Sullivan turned this fight into a war, which is what all Mexican fans want from their prizefighters. And although they want their champion to win, they have the same respect for the opponent who comes to fight as well.
In the very first round, Munguia went after O'Sullivan, but the Irishman didn't back down, held his own and came back with counter punches making it clear to Munguia that he was there to fight. But in the last ten seconds of the round, Munguia went into another gear and landed a hard right hook to the head of O'Sullivan that appeared to have him in a daze as he walked back to his corner.
The second round continued just as it was in the first round, and although Munguia landed the most punches, O'Sullivan was able to connect with a big right hand to the head of Munguia in the last ten seconds of the round.
In the the third round, although O'Sullivan was the one forcing the fight, Munguia began countering with a multitude of very hard left hooks to the body and head of the Irishman. Toward the end of the round they both went toe to toe and let their hands go, and O'Sullivan was able to finish with another big right hand and left hand punch to end the round.
In the fourth and fifth rounds, although O'Sullivan was having a good round, Munguia started to land vicious uppercuts, but O'Sullivan took them well and came countering back.
In the sixth round, as O'Sullivan moved forward, Munguia landed a straight right hand to the head of his opponent and the crowd got excited. As the round continued, O'Sullivan complained of looping left hooks from Munguia which he though was a rabbit punch.
Then seconds after that, Munguia landed a straight right hand and then a quick left hook to the body that was clearly low and O'Sullivan stopped and went backward to the rest on the ropes. The referee then allowed him to rest and then proceeded to take a point away from Munguia for the low blow. After the fight continued, O'Sullivan shook off the low blow and came back just as strong as before.
In the seventh round, as they traded punches in the middle of the ring, O'Sullivan was backed up in the corner, and Munguia landed a left hook to the body and O'Sullivan went to a knee. He then gestured to the referee that it was a low blow and as he took the count, he looked at his corner and almost appeared to quit. For some strange reason, even though the referee allowed O'Sullivan to rest, he did not take another point away from Munguia, but later it was considered unintentional.
After the count, Munguia went after O'Sullivan with a barrage of punches and rocked him with a big left hook that made the Irishman stumble back against the ropes. Despite that he was still countering back until the end of the round.
In his second fight with the hall of famer Erik Morales, Munguia was using his defense at the beginning of the fight, but going back to fighting offensively as his defense.
In the middle of the eighth round, Munguia was landing numerous jabs snapping the head of O'Sullivan back as he was finding his perfect range. Despite that, O'Sullivan was taking it all in stride and continued to hold his own even though he was getting the worst of it.
Just past the middle of the ninth round, Munguia landed a nice left hook and a big right hand that rocked O'Sullivan, but the Irishman kept holding his own. Munguia was now connecting with numerous jabs to the head of O'Sullivan who looked liked he was getting tired.
And just when you thought Munguia was going to close the show, O'Sullivan kept countering back and started to force the action as he backed up Munguia who countered the punches coming his way.
In the beginning of the tenth the round, the energizer O'Sullivan began pressing the fight to Munguia to the surprise of most, but probably not to the surprise of his Irish countryman, who are known as some of the toughest fighters in the fight game.
Then Munguia landed several right hands that backed up O'Sullivan, but he took the punches well and continued to counter back in between Munguia's punches. Munguia then landed a big left hook to the body and landed a glancing a right hand to the head of O'Sullivan at the bell.
At the last minute of the eleventh round, Munguia came up with a burst of energy and landed a barrage of punches that backed up O'Sullivan on the ropes and the Irishman grabbed the champion and held on until the referee separated them. And seconds later, just after they continued, Munguia went in for the kill and as he was pummeling O'Sullivan on the ropes O'Sullivan's corner threw in the towel just as O'Sullivan went down on the ropes.
The fight was stopped by TKO in the eleventh round in what turned out to be the best fight of the night as O'Sullivan went out on his shield. Munguia goes on to win his middleweight debut in super fashion on DAZN in front of the multitude of Mexican fans who came to support him in San Antonio.