Fire burning in John Ryder as he prepares for Jaime Munguia battle

John Ryder tales on his second big-name Mexican in a row when he faces Jamie Munguia next month.

In May, Ryder traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico, to take on Saul Alvarez and lost a decision in a hard, bruising fight. Ryder gave a solid account of himself and wanted to go straight into another big event. He talked about Gennady Golovkin and Munguia, and he landed the latter, in Phoenix on January 27.

Munguia is 42-0 with 33 stoppages and tipped for big things.

“Yeah, listen, he’s got good ways about him, he’s Mexican so he’s got that heart, that grit, he neglects the jab a bit, but he’s obviously got power in both hands and can whack a bit, so you’ve got to be wary of him,” admitted the seasoned 35-year-old southpaw. “He’s quite a big lump, but I believe that I’ve got the size, the natural weight advantage – not the height advantage – but the natural weight advantage and the skill to go in there and beat him.”

Ryder has boxed at a high level for years, swapping leather with Callum Smith, Canelo and Danny Jacobs. Many felt he was hard-done by in a close fight with Smith and he was a tight decision winner against Jacobs.

Ryder is full of self-confidence, and he does not feel Munguia is as good as someone like a pound-for-pounder such as Canelo.

“No, not at all, and he’s a man, like myself and since he’s moved up from light middle[weight], he’s not really set the world alight has he,” Ryder went on. “I think the standout win for him would be against Liam Smith. I don’t want to talk out of turn, but I think that come in a time in Liam’s career where he had just lost to ‘Canelo' [Saul Alvarez]. I don’t know how his relations were with Joe Gallagher at the time, because I know he made the move [away] shortly after that. I just don’t know if it was a great time for Liam Smith, so I don’t know if he got the best out of him.” 

Ryder is pleased to be staying at main event level. He’s 32-6 with 18 stoppages and does not have time for backward steps. Ryder cannot say for sure how much longer he will be fighting for, but he only wants meaningful bouts from here on in.

“Yeah, I don’t want to be dropping down and going out having fights like eight-rounders and being a stepping stone,” he added. “I want to show what I’ve got left, and show that I still have something to give, o I think this is the ideal fight for me.”

Asked how much longer he might box for, Ryder said: “I did say like 12-18 months, but I think really, it’s just fight by fight now. Just see how things go in this camp, and not so much physically, I feel like I’m good in the mind and the body, like I’m a young 35 [year-old] as such, but I just feel like how it goes mentally. If you’ve still got it, if the fire still burns, if the fire’s still there…”

Ryder has trained all through Christmas. He was sparring stablemate Conor Benn on Christmas Day as Benn prepares to face Peter Dobson in Las Vegas in February. The fire still burns for Ryder.

“I can [feel it],” Ryder continued. “You’re not getting up in the 0 degree [weather] for the morning runs if it’s not there, and I’m still as dedicated as I was, so the fire is still well and truly burning, but it’s always the question. You don’t really know until you get into camp, I’m in camp now, I’m raring to go and I want to push the numbers, push the boundaries like I have throughout my career, so I’ll continue to do so in this camp.”