Jaime Munguia. Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Productions.
World championship boxing makes a rare stop in Houston on tonight with a pair of world title defenses on the line at Toyota Center. The card is packed with 14 fighters, but the star of the show is 22 year old Mexican phenom Jaime Munguia, who puts his World Boxing Organization junior middleweight title on the line in a defense against Takeshi Inoue.
Munguia (31-0, 26 KOs) has stormed onto the championship boxing scene in the past 18 months. He was just 21 years old when he claimed the WBO title via a violent 4th round knockout of Sadam Ali in May of last year. Ali was scheduled to fight Liam Smith in thebout, but Munguia stepped in as a late replacement when Smith pulled out with an injury. Munguia dominated the action, scoring four knockdowns before the referee called a halt to the action in the fourth round. Following his impressive performance to win the title, Munguia won a unanimous decision against the aforementioned Liam Smith, and followed that up with a knockout of Brandon Cook in the 3rd round as the co-feature to the second Canelo/Golovkin fight. Munguia's pressure style will remind fight fans of a more unpolished Golovkin, stalking opponents, working behind the jab and landing thudding shots to the head and body.
Inoue (13-0-1, 7 KOs) has an undefeated record but is taking a big step up in competition. It will be his first fight outside of Asia, with 13 of 14 previous bouts coming in his native Japan. The betting odds reflect Inoue's unknown status; Munguia is a -9000 favorite to win the fight.
With such strong odds in his favor, Munguia's goal won't be just to win but to look good doing so. Promoter Oscar de la Hoya will look to continue Munguia's meteoric rise, and another early knockout will likely be what will continue that path forward. Inoue is not known as a puncher, so I would expect Munguia to be willing to take risks in order to close the show early. If you're headed to the Toyota Center don't be late to your seat, because the fireworks from Munguia are likely to start as soon as the opening bell rings.
The co-feature is another world championship matchup with Jesus Rojas defending his World Boxing Association featherweight title against Xu Can. Rojas (26-2-2, 19 KOs) lost his last fight to Joseph Diaz but retained his belt because Diaz failed to make weight. Xu (15-2, 2 KO) has won his last 12 fights, but has only scored one knockout in that period.
Also on the undercard is 20 year old prospect Vergil Ortiz (11-0, 11 KOs.) He steps in what is to be a showcase fight with Jesus Valdez (23-4, 12 KOs.)
GET IN DAZN
If you're not headed out to Toyota Center, the fights will be streamed live on the app DAZN. The app (pronounced Da' Zone) is a subscription based service specializing in live boxing with plans of moving into other sports in the coming years. The service is $9.99 per month but a one month free trial is available. In recent months fighters like Canelo Alvarez, Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk, and Jesse Vargas have signed contracts to fight on DAZN. The app also holds the rights to the World Boxing Super Series tournaments.
The Houston Texans needed a huge performance from Nico Collins on Sunday after Tank Dell went down with a season-ending injury, and boy did they get it.
Collins finished the day with just under 200 receiving yards, and helped the team secure a huge victory, pushing the team's record to 7-5.
There's been a lot of discussion about whether Collins is a true No. 1 receiver in the NFL, and his numbers indicate he is. Nico is 9th in receiving yards in the NFL (991) with 6 TDs in 11 games.
Certainly, health will be a big factor in determining just how high his upside is. He only played in 10 games in 2022, and this is his first season with over 500 yards.
Outside of health, how Collins responds to all the extra attention he is about to receive due to the loss of Tank Dell, will tell us a lot about if he can perform like a true No. 1 receiver.
2024 will be the final year of Nico's contract and he'll be looking for a big pay day if he can continue this production. Which makes us wonder, should the Texans pay him like a Top 10 receiver if he continues to put up these numbers?
Plus, the big concern with Tank Dell has always been his size, and if he can hold up in the NFL. Now that he's injured for the second time, and out for the season with his latest injury, should the Texans consider adding another receiver in the draft or free agency?
Don't miss the video above as we break it all down!
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