Mario Munoz reclaims Kansas Cruiserweight Championship with second-round knockout

Jerry Thomas hands Dakota Polley first loss in unanimous decision victory

Mario Munoz, middle, knocked out rival Jim Franklin in the second round Saturday night to re-claim the Kansas Cruiserweight Championship. (Facebook)

Just one day removed from his 40th birthday, Mario Munoz reclaimed the Kansas Cruiserweight Championship with his first outright knockout victory of his career Saturday night at the Kansas Expocentre.

 

After knocking Jim Franklin down near the end of the first round, Munoz came out in the second looking to put him on the mat again. Munoz recorded two big knockdowns in the second before finally putting Franklin down for the count.

“I decided to stay calm, and he made the mistake of going on the ropes and stood there,” Munoz said. “Then I could just throw my combos and I caught him. Actually, it was an uppercut with the right hand, and I knew when it hit that it was going to be it. Sure enough, it was.

“I just knew then it was over. I knew I had got it back and it wasn’t going to the judges. … You know I’ve always heard fighters say that you know when you land that punch. You know that’s the one, which I had never experienced. I have stopped people, TKO, but it was never that feeling. It’s kind of hard to explain.”

The win for Munoz was his second in a trilogy of bouts between the two fighters. Munoz won the first bout by split decision, while Franklin won the second by split decision. Munoz said he wanted to make sure this fight wasn’t left in the judges’ hands.

St. Mary’s native Jerry Thomas was also victorious Saturday night, topping then-undefeated prospect Dakota Polley, of St. Charles, Mo., by unanimous decision in a six-round fight.

“I feel pretty good about it,” Thomas said. “He was a little tougher than I had actually expected.”

Two weeks prior to the fight Thomas said he was required to stop training to nurse a rib injury, but he said he didn’t have any issues with cardio in the bout against Polley, whose inexperience may have come into play Saturday night.

“I think he’s definitely got a lot to learn, but at 19-years old I was pretty impressed with him,” Thomas said. “He’s definitely got a good foundation. Him stepping in to fight me, I would think from his team perspective it was a little bit of a premature decision. I think he should’ve got a little more experience underneath his belt, but it was an opportunity for him and they jumped on it when they could.”

Thomas had moved down from 147 lbs to 140 for this fight and said he plans to continue fighting at 140 for the foreseeable future.

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Danger-Fire Promotions Midwest Mayhem

Results Saturday

Main event

Jerry Thomas def. Dakota Polley (UD)

Co-main event

Mario Munoz def. Jim Franklin (c) (KO)

Professional boxing

Nick Guivas def. Eric Crittendon (UD)

Jeremie Parks vs. Chris Ortega (Draw)

Reyes Sanchez def. Edward Guinn (UD)

Bryanna Fissori def. Julie Murray (UD)

Jacob Thrall vs. Drake Hatfield (Draw)

Trevor Lavin def. James Cody (KO)

Robby Mendez def. Rob Haney (KO)

Laurence Xavier Sulbeka def. Jesse Smith (TKO)

Kickboxing

Alan Vasquez def. Robert Lona (TKO)

Aaron Poston def. Bryan Timmons (UD)

James Sleep def. John Orcutt (UD)

 

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