Grinch John Ryder cancels Christmas in preparation for Jaime Munguia

After John Ryder’s gallant losing effort to Canelo Alvarez in Mexico in May, the Englishman wanted to go straight back into a big fight.

After agreeing to box 42-0 Jaime Munguia in Phoenix next month, Ryder is set to do just that.

Ryder had a shortlist of opponents he wanted, and one was Gennady Golovkin, but Munguia – who has been mentioned as a future Canelo foe – got the call.

“Listen, I didn’t want to be coming back on undercards, six or eight rounders to have a camp and get ready for it because that’s not where I’m at,” said the southpaw “Gorilla”. “I’m not 20-odd [years-old] anymore, I’m 35 now, I need to get back to where I’ve been operating. [For] this fight I’ve had an extended break, I’m ready and I’m raring to go. Camp’s in full swing and I can’t wait for it, to get to mid-camp and towards the end of camp, get Christmas out of the way, and so it’s just go time, because this is the level that I've been operating at for a while now and I don’t want to drop down. I want to stay here and keep operating here.”

In his last three contests, Ryder won a close split decision over Danny Jacobs, stopped Zach Parker (who retired with a broken hand after four rounds) and was outpointed by Canelo in a hard fight.

Christmas is more of an inconvenience for Ryder, now, with his mind firmly on the task at hand and Munguia. 

“I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas anyway,” Ryder smiled. “It’s for the kids, isn’t it? So they’re going to have a great time, I’ll have a part-Christmas dinner I’m sure, with a bit of turkey and veg, but I won’t have all the trimmings, that’s for sure.” 

Ryder and the team are working out arrangements as to when they will travel to Arizona for the fight on January 27 at the Footprint Center, but he estimates spending 10-14 days in the USA before the first bell.

Ryder had hoped he might get to fight GGG, and said he would have even gone to Kazakhstan to box Golovkin. But the former champion is seemingly indifferent about fighting again and Ryder said he had not heard that talks between camps got any kind of momentum.

“Not that I really know of, nothing really ever seemed to materialize,” Ryder explained. “I got tagged in a few things by a [Gennady] Golovkin fan page, they were always confident that he was going to fight again, but it all just seemed to go quiet, but Jaime Munguia [on] January 27, and after that, who knows?”

Ryder has won 32 fights and lost six times. Munguia is 42-0 with 33 early wins. Ryder’s fight with Canelo was seven months ago, but it was a hard, grueling effort and Ryder admits the rest has been good for him. The Englishman’s nose had been badly broken early in the fight, too.

“I just left it alone for a long time really,” Ryder said of his injury. “I was back training July time, I was back ticking over, I moved house and it was important to just let my body heal, recover and relax and just settle into new surroundings, and just get ready to go again. Listen, I would’ve liked to get out at the end of the year [2023], but it wasn’t to be. So January 27, nothing better.”

Ryder had two fights in 2018, two in 2019, once in 2020 and once in 2021.

“Obviously, what with lockdown [in 2020], we haven’t been as busy as we’d have liked to be,” Ryder said. “I had a fight in November [2022 against Zach Parker, then again in May [this year against Canelo]. Turning the age of 35 as well, it takes that bit longer [to recover], but listen it was a hard camp, hard fight, a battle on my body, and as you get older it takes that little bit longer, so it was always the plan to have that longer rest, and just get ready for what I was hoping to be a busier end of the year, but a busier 2024 now.” 

And it starts in Phoenix. Is Ryder happy to be back on the road?

“Listen, I fought Canelo in Guadalajara [Mexico], so Phoenix [Arizona] isn’t the end of the earth, that’s for sure,” he said