Five steps Jaime Munguia has taken to face John Ryder

Jaime Munguia returns on Saturday with the exciting Mexican super-middleweight facing his most interesting opponent yet, John Ryder, at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Munguia, with an impressive record of 42-0 and 33 knockouts, claimed the WBC silver super-middleweight belt last year, against Sergiy Derevyanchenko in one of the Fights of the Year. The 27-year-old Mexican, a former WBO super-welterweight titleholder is now trained by Freddie Roach in Los Angeles.

Ryder boasts a record of 32-6 with 18 knockouts. Not shown in Ryder's record is his toughness. He went all 12 rounds with Canelo Alvarez. He gave Callum Smith a very tough fight in a controversial losing effort. He also beat former world champion Daniel Jacobs in 2022.

Now he fights Munguia, and here is a deeper look into Jaime Munguia's career.

  1. The unknown Golvokin opponent. 

Munguia first emerged as a meme. A photo of his picture and BoxRec page profile surfaced when Canelo Alvarez had an adverse finding in a drug test that postponed his rematch with Gennadiy Golovkin. Munguia was famously not allowed to fight Golovkin despite an impressive unbeaten record. This was the first major instance of Munguia being mentioned by major publications. 

  1. Winning the world title 

Munguia knocked out Sadam Ali, who held the WBO junior-middleweight title. Munguia dropped Ali a total of four times before the fourth-round stoppage. He floored him twice in round one and once in round two, and ended the bout with the final knockdown in the fourth. 

A Mexican star appeared to be born. Munguia was green but aggressive. He was a big puncher, who walked down the smaller Ali, who had won his world title from Miguel Cotto in his previous fight. 

The fight was a late-replacement bout as Liam Smith was the original opponent, but had to withdraw due to an illness in training camp. 

A star appeared to have been born in May 2018. 

  1. The Dennis Hogan fight

Munguia was being touted as the next star with the Gennadiy Golovkin era coming to an end. It appeared Munguia might be the next exciting LA-based power puncher. Then he fought Dennis Hogan at the Arena Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico.

This was the night a lot of the excitement stopped. Munguia was a healthy favorite leading into the fight, a 12-to-1 favorite, with Hogan being around 6-to-1 underdog but the fight was bad. 

CompuBox had Hogan landing 123 punches out of 493 with Munguia landing 122 punches out of 671 punches. The stats make it seem close, but it felt like Munguia got schooled by the veteran. The judges who scored it a majority decision win for Munguia – the Mexican fighter fighting in Mexico – only added more fuel to the fire of the critics. 

This fight in 2019 marked a change in the perception of Munguia and the trajectory of his career. 

  1. What weight class? 

After the close Hogan fight, Munguia began to fight lesser opposition. He boxed at junior-middleweight one more time before moving to middleweight.

There, he picked up respectable wins against ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan, Tureano Johnson, a former Golovkin opponent Kamil Szeremeta as well as Gabriel Rosado. Each fight, though, felt somewhat insignificant. For a fighter with so much intrigue, and winning a world title in his early twenties, Munguia had appeared to regress into a prospect-contender status. 

His weight also became a concern. Munguia’s 2022 fight against D’Mitrius Ballard saw him make weight, but it was also reported that he needed to lie down after the weigh-in and a video surfaced of it that went viral. Still, he knocked out Ballard in three rounds. 

Munguia took a catchweight bout with Jimmy Kelly, proceeded to have another middleweight bout, and now he is a super-middleweight.

Munguia moved out of the middleweight division without getting a shot at the world title. 

  1. Is this the best Munguia now?

In his last fight, Munguia proved he might have what it takes. He defeated Sergiy Derevyanchenko, a man only the elite beat. It was a close fight. Some saw it as the Fight of the Year. It was also Derevyanchenko’s first fight at 168lbs.

His bout against John Ryder will answer one big question – is Jaime Munguia an elite fighter? Ryder is a measuring stick, possibly to gauge Munguia’s suitability for a Canelo Alvarez fight later this year.