Tureano Johnson. (File photo)
Jaime Munguia caught Tureano Johnson with a vicious uppercut that severely gashed the Bahamian middleweight’s upper lip and led to a doctor’s stoppage.
Munguia retained the WBO Intercontinental title and was awarded a sixth round knockout win over Johnson in Friday night’s DAZN Boxing main event at the Fantasy Springs Resort in Indio, California.
The Mexican title holder remained undefeated and improved to 36-0 with 28 KOs while Johnson fell to 21-3-2 with 15 KOs.
Boxingscene.com’s live scorecard had the fight even at 57-57 through six rounds with Johnson winning rounds one, for, and five. DAZN Boxing scored the fight 58-56 in favour of Munguia.
Johnson smothered Munguia and applied pressure early in the opening round. He continuously planted his shoulder into Munguia and connected with an array of punches, including an overhand right and several body shots.
In round two, Munguia added the first of his series of uppercuts that would set the tone for the remainder of the fight as he adjusted to Johnson’s approach.
Johnson continued to press forward and land short right hooks, but Munguia was able to create space with the uppercuts and land several shots on the move while backpedalling. Johnson’s aggression had the advantage for much of round three but Munguia counterpunched late with a series of uppercuts and left hooks.
The fight continued in close quarters as a methodical gruelling pace favoured Johnson’s style, but Munguia’s punching power was on display and swelling was noticeable over Johnson’s left eye.
In the sixth Munguia bagan to make Johnson back up for the first time all fight and threw his highest volume of punches. After a series of punches from Munguia highlighted by another uppercut, the referee stopped the fight and had a ringside doctor check on the gash opened on Johnson’s upper lip.
Johnson, highly regarded as a tough fighter known for always moving forward into his opponents, applied pressure early on that caught the Mexican champion off guard. Mungia adjusted and started connecting with short, powerful right hands as he evaded Johnson’s advances.
“In the first round I felt good but he did come out there and surprise me. I went to my corner and they told me to try to adjust. They also told me to keep my distance and not get too close so that’s what we tried to do,” Munguia said in the post fight interview.
“Obviously Tureano Johnson is a very strong fighter so it bothered me a bit to have him on me early so we adjusted a bit with that plan. He’s a fighter that makes you very uncomfortable. We had to adjust everything.”
Throwing the right uppercut early and often was the game plan to neutralise Johnson’s aggression.
“We were working on that a lot. When we found out we would be fighting Tureano Johnson we started working on that even more.
“I noticed that I could get him because when he would be coming forward he would lean a little bit so all I had to do was move a little bit to my right and throw the uppercut.
“Once I cut him I saw it was only a matter of time. I was anxious for this fight, I learned a lot from this fight and I think I’m ready for a title shot at 160 pounds,” said Munguia.
Other fights on the card were all decided by unanimous decision: Rashidi Ellis defeated Alexis Rocha (welterweight); Elwin Soto defeated Carlos Buitrago (junior flyweight) and in women’s boxing Marlen Esparza defeated Sulem Urbina (flyweight).