Latest On WBO Cruiserweight & Junior Middleweight Titles:
The status of the WBO cruiserweight title fight between Mairis Briedis and Krzysztof Glowacki that was ordered weeks ago is still up in the air after a deadline of November 21 passed for a deal to be negotiated, meaning that either a purse bid will be ordered or Briedis will vacate his WBO title.
The past month has seen the original plan for the belt, which was for Briedis to fight IBF champion Yuniel Dorticos in the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight finals and then fight Glowacki afterwards, go up in flames.
In the latest chapter of this strange saga, the WBO ordered a fight between the two with Briedis, the current WBO champion, and Glowacki with a deadline of November 21 to negotiate a deal. Should a deal fail to be made, a purse bid, potentially in late November or early December, would take place. This comes months after it seemed that Briedis would fight Dorticos in the WBSS finals, but recent developments have changed the whole situation.
The original ruling from the WBO in July came after Glowacki and his representatives argued that his fight against Briedis, which was a WBSS semifinal bout in June, should be overturned from a Briedis win to a no contest after a bizarre sequence of events that led to Glowacki being knocked out in the third round.
The fight between the two saw Briedis intentionally elbow Glowacki in retaliation to a Rabbit Punch thrown by Glowacki in the second round. Briedis also knocked Glowacki down after the second round ended, but both men continued fighting after the bell as referee Robert Byrd said he did not hear the bell. Briedis would go on to stop Glowacki early in round three to win the WBO title and advance to the finals. Glowacki and his camp had hoped the fight result would be overturned and be deemed a “No Contest" as Briedis said in a post-fight interview that his elbow on Glowacki was intentional.
However, the WBO stated that such a decision can only be made within the jurisdiction of the Latvian Boxing Federation, meaning that unless Latvia changes the result, Briedis is still the winner by third-round TKO and still the WBO cruiserweight champion.
Fast forward several weeks later and new evidence surfaced which prompted Glowacki to file an appeal, upon learning that the bout was fought solely under the auspices of the WBO and with WBSS rules in place. The Latvia boxing commission openly confessed to this, acknowledging that neither Briedis, Glowacki nor the referee were licensed under local rule, which shot down the WBO’s efforts to deflect responsibility in terms of having final say in overturning an official outcome, per a report from Jake Donovan.
Given the new ruling, Briedis’ team and the WBSS had two options: have Briedis vacate the WBO belt and move on to the finals against Dorticos or make the rematch against Glowacki, further delaying the tournament finals.
Conventional wisdom would dictate that Briedis would vacate the belt in order to pursue the WBSS Trophy and another world title against Dorticos. After all, it would be easier for all parties involved and a rematch can be explored later down the road. Though that likely may be the reality, the WBO isn’t 100 percent sure of what the end result will be. A source from inside the WBO told Fightful that they aren’t sure if the purse bid was going to happen or if Briedis would vacate the title.
But now the interesting part comes with what happens with Glowacki because he is technically up to fight for two different titles, but against likely against two different opponents. Regardless of what Briedis decides, Glowacki is assured a WBO world title shot, but in October, the WBC, whose cruiserweight division has no champion, approved a fight between Glowacki and Ilunga Makabi for the vacant belt.
Jaime Munguia’s run as the WBO junior middleweight champion appears to be over with the news of him moving up to middleweight for his next fight. Munguia will face Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan in a 12-round bout on a DAZN card taking place January 11, 2020 at The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
This ends the WBO 154-pound title run that began in May 2017 with a dominant win over Sadam Ali. Since then, many expected Munguia, a devastating power puncher who is built more like a super middleweight than a junior middleweight, to continue developing and be a more complete fighter with fights against the likes of Liam Smith and Dennis Hogan. But what we’ve seen for 18 months is a one-dimensional fighter whose power alone will get him through the majority of the 154-division, but power alone won’t be enough to beat the likes of Jarrett Hurd, Julian WIlliams, Tony Harrison.
Still, it was inevitable that Munguia would move up to 160 pounds where the vast majority of the stars also fight on DAZN.
Going up against O’Sullivan won’t tell us a whole lot about Munguia as a middleweight. O’Sullivan’s chin has been compromised in the past and it’s not hard to envision Munguia’s power getting him through the fight. It can make for a nice highlight reel, but the real goal for Munguia at 160 pounds is to eventually fight the likes of Gennadiy Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez and Demetrius Andrade, all owners of a piece of the middleweight championship puzzle.
A fight against Golovkin would actually be a very nice story to tell from a marketing standpoint. The two fighters were actually going to fight each other in May 2018 after the rematch between Golovkin and Alvarez fell through due to Alvarez failing multiple drug tests several weeks prior. It was the Nevada State Athletic Commission that intervened and rejected a Golovkin-Munguia matchup, which actually led to Munguia being available to fight Ali after Smith, Ali’s original opponent for May 2018, withdrew from the bout.
As for what will become of the WBO junior middleweight title, it was also announced by Top Rank that Carlos Adames and Patrick Teixeira, the sanctioning body’s top two-ranked boxers, will meet in what originally billed as a title eliminator on November 30 on the ESPN+ undercard of a Top Rank show at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
But with Munguia no longer going to be the champion moving forward, the winner could very well be the new champion. Adames is a strongly-built fighter who has really run through a majority of the opponents put in front of him for the last couple of years. Like Munguia, Adames is young and a strong fighter, but looking at him, one gets the sense that Adames is capable of becoming a more well-rounded fighter.
Teixeira is coming into the fight with a solid record of 30-1, but there’s not a whole lot to believe he’ll be able to push Adames any more than someone like Patrick Day. Still, Teixeira could provide a slight challenge to Adames, but there is a reason why many believe Adames is the favorite to win.
Although the fight won’t officially be for the WBO title, the WBO is expected to make a ruling on whether or not the winner will be recognized as the new champion at the WBO Convention taking place in early December.
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