By Derek Bonnett: The super bantamweight division has been well known for fighters like Israel Vazquez, Rafael Marquez, and Juan Manuel Lopez the last couple of years due to the stellar performances each man has consistently put forth.
However, the inactive Vazquez vows to return as a featherweight, Marquez is nearing the end of his career, and Lopez may jump ship as well for bigger game at 126. Thanks to Celestino Caballero, Bernard Dunne, Ricardo Cordoba, Steve Molitor, and rising Antonio Escalante, the 122 pound class will remain among the more interesting in the sport of boxing.
Another fighter who aspires to enter the mix soon is Leicestershire native and reigning European champion Rendall Munroe. The twenty-nine year old super bantamweight has built a, 19-1 (8), record and is riding a nine bout winning streak which includes two decisions over Spain’s Kiko Martinez. Martinez is best known for his one round stoppage over reigning WBA 122 pound champion Bernard Dunne of Ireland. The pair of victories over Martinez have earned Munroe a #2 WBC ranking, behind only the aforementioned Marquez, and a #5 spot in the eyes of the WBA.
Every boxer has different feelings about rising to the top and their own personal formula for future success.
"It was a good feeling [to beat Martinez], but my dad has always told me, ’Don’t watch others, just yourself; if you watch others too much you forget about yourself.’ I’ll just keep enjoying myself and doing everything my trainer Jason Shinfield asks of me," Munroe stated.
Listening to one’s corner and having fun in the ring are certainly important for a professional boxer, but ask any of them and they’ll surely tell you it’s not always that enjoyable and even the best instruction is useless if it cannot be executed with success. Such was the case in Munroe’s lone professional defeat, a comfortable decision loss to Andy Morris.
" I think that loss was for a reason. It made me believe that I’m good enough to mix with the best," Munroe rationalized. "I had a big lack of experience that I went in there with and I still did okay. I don’t worry myself about it. I train to do more [now], so I just go out there and do what Jason tells me."
Any division with uncertainty at the top could certainly benefit from the actions that will unfold this fall in the super middleweight division as six of the best prepare to take each other on in a round robin tournament organized and to be broadcast by Showtime. Munroe shared his thoughts about the tournament and what it would prove in any division.
" It’s all good. Everyone is out there doing themselves [and the sport] good," Munroe stated. " A big good luck to Carl Froch as I hope he can do well. To me, you have to fight the best to call yourself the best."
Super six tournaments aside, Munroe wants a big fight and he’d like it soon.
"No disrespect at all, but I’d say I want Dunne the most because of all the talk," Munroe asserted. "I want to put everyone in the light that I’m a boxer who is silent, as in I don’t need to talk down to no one. I’m a true professional sportsman and my gloves talk for me. It would be nice to have that fight be in the Leicester city football grounds. I tell everyone I’ve not boxed at home yet, so another away would not bother me at the end of the day. If you’re out to win, it should not matter where it happens."
The WBA title is owned by Ireland’s Dunne and the WBC portion is kept in Japan by newly crowned Toshiaki Nishioka, so as a challenger, Rendall may have to become a road warrior to win his first world championship. If Munroe’s true to what he says, we won’t hear him complaining about it too much; he’ll just let his fists plead his case.