Montiel: I definitely won another opportunity; I proved that I belong to the big boxing leagues



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Juan Macias Montiel realizes that he did not come close to beating Jermall Charlo last Saturday night.

Montiel still feels he has legitimized himself as a middleweight contender by sometimes pushing the undefeated WBC champion during their 12-round title fight. Going the distance was something of a win for the determined Mexican underdog, who Charlo became the 30-1 favorite to defeat in their Showtime Championship main boxing event at the Toyota Center in Houston.

“I felt like I had to go through this to prove myself, to show that I belonged to the big leagues in boxing,” said Montiel. “And now that I have it, I’m ready for whatever is to follow.”

Los Mochis’s Montiel implored his promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz, to secure him another top-level opportunity now that he has proven his durability and tenacity against one of the best middleweights in boxing.

“I hope my promoter, Sampson, will allow me the chance to be number one,” Montiel said, “and at least try to do that in the future. I don’t know what you think all of them, but I think I definitely won another opportunity to try and do something.

Before Saturday night, Montiel was in doubt due to his second round knockout loss to former WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (37-0, 30 KOs) and his 10-round draw with Hugo Centeno Jr. (27-3-1, 14 KOs, 1 NC). Charlo had previously eliminated Centeno in the second round.

Houston’s Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) injured Montiel early in the fifth and sixth rounds, but the resilient Montiel managed to survive those trying times. The 27-year-old rallied in some of the rounds that followed, when he pressed on the action, kept Charlo on his back foot and landed punches while fighting mostly in a left-handed stance. .

“It was my thirst to be a world champion that allowed me to survive,” said Montiel. “My determination to persevere in this fight and become the world champion is what got me through this and what’s going to take me through so many other things in the future. “

Charlo, 31, still won with huge margins on all three scorecards (120-108, 119-109, 118-109). He congratulated Montiel (22-5-2, 22 KOs) for his tenacity, despite the fact that the courageous challenger did not win many rounds.

Montiel, meanwhile, is encouraged by the way he played against Charlo, who solidly beat Ukrainian Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-3, 10 KOs) in his previous 12-round bout.

“I always go after number one,” Montiel said. ” It’s my aim. There are the Golovkins and the Canelos of the world, and I always want to fight against the best, no matter what.

Keith Idec is a senior writer / columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

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