A new story from SI Boxing with Chris Mannix
You've got to show you've got something at a high level I know he you know he believed that a Canelo fight was gonna be in the offing when he signed with matchroom that was obviously disappointing but While a Munguia fight is nowhere near as lucrative It's more winnable. I think that's for sure like Munguia a very good offensive fighter But we saw in the fifth round of his fight with Sergei Derevinchenko He almost got stopped and Derevinchenko is a faded former middleweight contender So don't tell me Edgar Berlanga can't win that fight. Like I believe he can so I'm of the opinion that Edgar Berlanga has to find a way to say yes. He has to find a way to Feel like the money is enough for him to fight Jaime Munguia Maybe it's not gonna be exactly what he wants to be It's not gonna be in the three four million dollar range but he's got to find a way to take a couple of million bucks or whatever it is and get in the ring with Jaime Munguia Because and you can say the same thing about Jaime Munguia as well. That's a separate conversation. He's Another guy that desperately needs a top-level opponent These two guys need each other and I think both of them have to find a way to say yes What do you think? I think they I think you're exactly right I think they do need one another and I think that they make for a fantastic fight I think you and I have talked about this fight about three times on this podcast about how It just makes sense for both fighters, but it also makes for compelling television They both have fan bases that they bring to the table and for I think for both fighters Maybe more so for Berlanga because Munguia did you know just kind of have to prove his mettle in that Derevinchenko fight at the very least but Berlanga I think is now past the point where I Think he's at a point where he has to prove it a little bit more it in the early stages of his career Obviously, there was a lot of hype around him and people are willing to give him a little bit of a leash in terms of Proving himself, but now I think that Berlanga in terms of the court of public opinion. He's just in in full-blown skepticism territory and In order to convince people I think he needs a win like this and there aren't too many other fights out there That would do that for him and and particularly ones that would be all that profitable. So, of course I Empathize with any fighter trying to get a good deal what they think is worth it for taking a particular risk But I don't know what the other super lucrative fights are are out there for Berlanga and you know Let's say we're talking about, you know, 1.5 2 million dollars. Let's say to fight Jaime Munguia. I mean, that's a pretty good deal I don't know where else you're gonna get that You'll you'll have to fight two three times to do that But you might want to take a chance and I think if your match room You probably want to find out what you have right now because yeah There isn't that Canelo cash out fight for him on the table anymore You probably want to find out what you have and what better way to do it than in a fight like this that also Wouldn't be destructive to either fighter if they lost it because I think it would be an exciting fight no matter what and both fighters Would would get credit for taking the fight I think it would be positive PR win or lose for either fighter both these guys are in their mid-20s and I think we have to Move past the idea that a perfect record is the end-all be-all You know, I've seen many guys gain something from a loss and even if you lose and you're a little down your luck Well, all it takes is one or two fights to get right back at the top And I mean, I think look guy like tefima Lopez a great example 2019 he loses to George kambosis things look like they're falling apart for him He comes back moves up and wait to 140 now. He's talking about him as the number one guy in 140 pound division So I think we've got to move past this idea that guys need to be undefeated And you know, look, I think there's a perception among some people that Mongea would just steamroll them And look Berlanga did not look great against Jason Quigley, but Quigley was more of a mover Bert monkey is not right. He is gonna be there and he's gonna want to brawl with you And you know Edgar Berlanga, if nothing else has shown he has pop at that weight class. So I'd love to see it I think Berlanga has got to find a way to do it's gonna be interesting to see how that those Negotiations play out over the next couple of days and into the next couple of weeks because if if those guys reject each other What do you want to see them in like golden boys got nothing for Jaime Mongea Like you're gonna do a John Ryder fight like that doesn't do anything for me That's that to me is just as dangerous for Mongea as as Berlanga is, you know, if you're Berlanga you know all the top talents over at PBC and again, I know you thought that a Canelo fight was gonna be there but it's not so time to recalculate and have kind of your king-making moment Against time imma get we if you win that fight all of a sudden then you could start calling out Canelo You can start saying like look Canelo. I know you got business over at PBC, but I'll be waiting like I just beat time imma In trying to make that fight happen because that's an excellent fight a meaningful fight for both those guys Alright, so, you know Lando. No good. Sorry. I was just gonna say I mean when you say that they need one another Not only they need one another because the win would be great on the resume But Chris, I think there might be there are no two fighters at the sport I don't think this is hyperbole here that people love to slap that the hype job tag on then those two fighters Every you know every thread On Twitter on message boards about either of these two fighters is about out, you know, they're gonna get exposed You know, they this they're just a product of matchmaking They have a chance to silence some of that and and it would be through one another and by making any other decision right now I think you're just feeding in To that narrative and and you're confirming what people believe about you So they need to make they don't make this fight as much for just making the fight and saying hey I'm willing to do this as what the results of it would do for them. I'm in McGee is 42 and oh, he's 42 and oh and His most meaningful win was what Liam Smith? Yeah, I mean it's wild it's wild both these guys have made a lot of money and add a lot of success against lesser opposition Now is the time to find out what they both got now is the time not six months from now Not eight months from now right now before the end of the year We need to get high memo Gia and Edgar Berlanga in the ring against each other Alright, so we will be down in Orlando for the card headline by rich traditions and Jose's Apata Zepeda most people remember from a couple of things the absolutely absolute bonkers war where both guys got knocked down like 47 times and if that's the fight that eventually You know got the you put him on on the radar there So you got Jose's Apata against Richardson Hitchens and That is it's a big fight thing for Richard Hitchens to kind of show Where he is in the lightweight devar the junior. Well junior welterweight division He's a guy with a great jab coming off a terrific win over John Bowser in his last fight MSG knocked him down a couple of times one wide and all three scorecards Richardson Hitchens believes he is already a contender at 140 do you see him right now as a contender at 140? I think that he is Very capable of standing in there with with any of those guys at 140 right now now Does that mean that he has the resume to be concerned to be considered a contender? I mean you could debate that but you know depending on how you want to qualify who's in contention or not I think that he is I think that Hitchens has a set of skills that is going to be a Problem for anyone at 140 and it's the opposite set of skills the very opposite of what we were talking about with Williams Apata who by by virtue of volume and Physicality is gonna be a nightmare of a night for anyone well, Richardson Hitchens has an a plus plus plus jab and Guys that have that that can move that left hand around and do a lot with it They can make any fight ugly and also Hitchens has shown You know kind of an attitude a defiant attitude and a willingness to make ugly fights He says I don't care if you can't get past my jab. What are you gonna do about it? I he's willing to kind of be the bad guy and isn't compelled to make mistakes in there He's willing to play that safe game and with his dimensions and with the way that he can use that left hand He could be a nightmare for anyone He's very very sure of himself In talking to guys that have sparred with him and in talking to Chris Algieri you sparred extensively with them You know, he said like those are just not fun sessions No one looks forward to getting in the ring with Richardson Hitchens So yeah I think that this is someone that could be a problem for anyone and this is the perfect test for him and an established contender someone who will Threaten to bring something more out of him But if Hitchens can nullify someone like Zepeda Then I think we could be pretty certain of how dangerous he could be in this division. I agree On Hitchens. He's a guy had spent extensive time not just sparring with Chris Algieri, but also Shakur Stevenson who has been a long time training partner of his I'm not exactly sure if they trained together for this fight, but you know They did train together for the last one and that was the best we've seen from Richardson Hitchens I think it's starting to come into his prime right now He's a you know, 5 foot 10 140 pounder with a wicked jab. I mean you can just win just with those attributes I know you want to get knockouts and be spectacular But if you're tall long with an absolute piston rod of a jab, you're gonna have a lot of success in that division I think Zepeda is the right fight for him. I know Richardson Hitchens wanted that Montana love fight We kind of all did because there's been some bad blood between those two I don't I don't think Montana love really wants that fight anytime soon He's had a couple of opportunities to have that fight But Hitchens now gets Zepeda who's been right there kind of on the cusp of a world championship He lost a narrow decision to Jose Ramirez back in 2019 a controversial decision No less that was in Ramirez's backyard in Fresno and was a controversial finish. Then he lose the progre I thought I just fought the wrong fight against progre Corey. I thought like not to ever ever try to Get someone to fight in the same way, what was his name the guy that just beat progre We both called that fight in New Orleans. What was I'm blanking on his name. We'll think of it in a second But it was awful that the reason I remember his name is because the fight was so damn dreadful but that's You know boxing and moving is how you potentially beat a guy like Regis progre engaging with him is not and I know Zepeda has got kind of that that pride in him and wants to engage but That wasn't smart against Regis Pro He came back got a win so perfectly reasonable fight for Richardson Hitchens as as he tries to take his game To the next level so that might it's my long way of answering I do think this guy's a contender and I think this fight Against Zepeda if he makes it look as easy as he did Against John Bowser in his last fight, which is a tall task. Zepeda is a lot better than Bowser We're gonna be talking about a real contender. He kind of reminds me a little bit and you know not to get too complimentary We're talking about a guy that was you know, it's still coming up versus now the undisputed lightweight champion But he rides a little Devon Haney, you know, Devon Haney is more boxer than puncher He's a guy that operates behind a really good jab I think Devon's more dynamic, but I think Richardson Hitchens is gonna have a chance to To be really tough and world title fights in the real near future if he wins this fight on Saturday Yeah, and by the name that we're both forgetting was Dentalito Zaria. I've also tried to block that fight in my memory There are 20 punches landed in that fight and that was entirely Zaria's fault, you know, yeah how we fought that fight I mean listen, we want to do that No We had to fill airtime by talking about faints and you know things things that weren't happening. That was didn't look forward to that Yeah, don't ever want to relive that one. But you know to your point was Zepeda I mean, you know what he did against program. He was just playing to his strengths I mean Zepeda wants to be aggressive and I think that Yes, there as we've seen with Zaria there is a path to you know Being super negative and winning a fight against Regis program but that's not really in Zepeda's DNA and it's because of that that this is a nice matchup for Hitchens and If Zepeda can start to get close to him with more regularity than we've seen anyone get close to Hitchens Then maybe we'll see some of the other tools a little more from Hitchens as well Oh, you know we're talking about him as kind of you know Fort Knox of a jab or that you can't get past that lead hand but you know maybe Zepeda forces him to show some other tools with a little bit more regularity and that could be fun to see as well because ultimately Hitchens Won't be able to just jab his way, you know to a lengthy run as a title holder He is gonna have to show a little bit more and this is the type of fight where perhaps we will Get to see what he's capable of and and that I think will Give us a clearer picture of what his ceiling actually is Look Zepeda has three losses in his career and all three have been at or near The world championship level lost Terry Flanagan over in the UK He lost Jose Ramirez in Ramirez's backyard and then he lost to Regis program by 11th round knockout So he he's taken some some lumps But the guys that have beat him been the very best, you know in and around their weight class So he's a live dog, I think in this fight against Richardson Hitchens Enjoy all your favorite sports like never before with BetMGM sign up using code champion and receive up to $1,500 back in bonus bets if you don't win your first bet when you register with BetMGM You'll get instant access to a variety of parlay selection features live betting options player props and the best daily Promotions in the business and with BetMGM at your fingertips every play and every game matter more than ever Place your money line prop and parlay bets with the king of sportsbooks today BetMGM and game sense reminds you to play Responsibly and offer resources to help you make appropriate choices BetMGM.com for T's and C's 21 plus to wager Virginia only new customer offer all promotions are subject to qualification and eligibility Requirements rewards issued as non withdrawal bonus bets bonus bets expire seven days from issuance Please gamble responsibly gambling problem.