WBO Intercontinental middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (38-0, 30 KOs) and D’Mitrius Ballard (21-0-1, 13 KOs) square off at Plaza Monumental de Playas de Tijuana in Tijuana on Saturday, February 19. The contest features undefeated former WBO light middleweight champion of Mexico defending his belt against unbeaten challenger from the US. The bout is scheduled for twelve rounds.
Boxing fans can watch the fight live stream on DAZN. The date when the event airs live in the UK and Australia is Sunday, February 20.
Check out below what the fighters had to say on a media conference call earlier today.
Jaime Munguia: I am going to be so proud to be there representing Mexico, representing Tijuana
“I am very happy to be coming back to Tijuana, the city that saw me grow up and has supported me throughout my career. And I am very motivated to work hard for the people of Tijuana.
“I have a big responsibility to my hometown after fighting far from home for a long time. I’m coming back being a world champion at 154lbs., have become a figure in the boxing world, it’s a big responsibility and I know it. I prepared everyday to make my hometown proud and have to really concentrate to not let in the distractions from home.
“I am very happy about the changes Erik Morales has made to my training. I have always been a defensive fighter, but I would always get stuck, it’s a mental thing. Erick has taught me to think more, breath, relax, take my time and control the timing of the fight. His training has influenced my style by throwing more combinations making sure I use my jab. Plus he has a lot of experience in the ring as well and I trust his judgment.
“I remember going by the Plaza Monumental de Playas De Tijuana when I was a kid and would dream of one day being able to fight there. I went to a fight there featuring Julio Cesar Chavez and Zorrita Soto and it was full of people. It was amazing. On February 19, I am going to be so proud to be there representing Mexico, representing Tijuana.”
D’Mitrius Ballard: I know that I am a big underdog in this fight, mostly because people don’t know much about me
“I have seen Jaime fight on these big cards in DAZN for the last 2 years and there is plenty of footage on him. He is a great fighter, he comes forward and gets the job done. I am very confident in my skills and I feel like February 19 will be my time.
“My elbow injury was pretty serious at the time to keep me out of the ring. But right now, we have rehabbed it very well and my last fight in November, I had no issues with it and I feel very confident.
“It doesn’t bother me that we are fighting in Tijuana, as a fighter, generally speaking, it is expected to go into hostile environments, into enemy territory and take their belt, win the fight. Andre Ward did it, Errol Spence did it, Terence Crawford did it, Kambosas just did it, I can go on and on. It’s required of us, it’s required of boxers, it’s part of the journey. It’s just my time and my opportunity.
“I am extremely excited. I had a long layoff before the November 13th fight. To be 28 and 21-0 and a fight with Jaime, this is what I have dreamed of. When they told me it would be in Mexico I had no problem with it. This is a big opportunity for me, for my career.
“I know that I am a big underdog in this fight, mostly because people don’t know much about me. But I have a lot of experience, and have been in training camps with high profile champions like Canelo. I am just ready to take what I know is mine.”
The full Munguia vs Ballard undercard is expected to be announced shortly.