Hearn wants to maneuver Ryder into a Benavidez bout if his boxer beats Munguia

PHOENIX: John Ryder has the chance to scupper Golden Boy, Oscar de la Hoya, and Jaime Munguia's best-laid plans Saturday when he comes to blows with the Mexican fighter at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, headlining a bout that airs live on DAZN.

For Eddie Hearn, the chairman of UK sports brand Matchroom, which represents Ryder, the time is coming at an opportune moment for the veteran boxer because he has the experience of competing in a hostile environment in Guadalajara against Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, and knows the atmosphere this weekend won't be anywhere near as intense.

One of the narratives heading into the fight week regarded rumors Munguia was in line to box Canelo, as ProBox TV reported late last year through our sources in Mexico that Team Alvarez had been quietly negotiating with Munguia's representatives regarding an all-Mexico shootout.

It's expected that, if Munguia beats Ryder in more decisive fashion than Canelo was able to, then that could generate sufficient momentum to warrant the mega-match.

But Ryder, and Hearn, have their own plans.

While Ryder told ProBox TV and other reporters last week in Los Angeles that a Canelo rematch remained a dream fight of his, Hearn believes an upset win for his boxer can lead to other opportunities in the US.

"I think he's going to get another big fight" with a win, Hearn told us. "Like a [David] Benavidez, or Caleb Plant — someone like that."

On Ryder's ability to pull off the upset, Hearn said: "I've gotten asked a lot of questions this week about whether there is a lot of pressure on John Ryder. 

"I'm like, 'Not really,' but, you know, he's at the back end of his career, rolling the dice, and getting paid and improving, I think, still.

"For a long time, he was a middleweight and it was killing him," said Hearn. "He moved up to super middleweight, he's strong up there, and hopefully he's got enough in the tank to be very competitive."

Golden Boy's event brings numerous promoters together

ProBox TV has spent a lot of time with Golden Boy Promotions due to the Vergil Ortiz vs. Fredrick Lawson event earlier this month in Las Vegas, and a media workout for Munguia and Ryder in Los Angeles, last week.

One message that is clear regards de la Hoya and his partner Bernard Hopkins' challenge to rival promoters to work with them, and each other, to deliver the best fights that can be made for the North American market.

On the stage at Thursday's final Munguia-Ryder press conference were promoters or representatives or fighters from numerous rosters including de la Hoya and Hopkins from Golden Boy, Oscar Collazo from Miguel Cotto Promotions, Fernando Beltran from Zanfer Promotions, Sampson Lewkowicz from Sampson Boxing, and, of course, Hearn from Matchroom.

For Hearn, this bout was easy to book because he and de la Hoya share the same broadcaster in DAZN. "That's easier to do, isn't it, whenever you've got the same broadcaster."

He's also aware of how the boxing game works and that Golden Boy might believe that, should Munguia score a bigger win over Ryder than Canelo was able to, then it helps them score that fight for themselves.

But Hearn believes they've got an advantage from that Canelo experience because Ryder's "got to have a lot of confidence" from that fight. That showing in Guadelajara — it's amazing. It was very hostile."

He added: "There is an argument that he could have gotten a decision against Billy Joe [Saunders], he's fought Canelo Alvarez, fought Zach Parker, and loads of guys before that.

"So he's now not going to go in there and go, 'Wow'.

"The thing that he asked to overcome too early is the output. You've got to win rounds and to do that, you've got to match his output, and make sure you don't get hit. Or you've got to hurt him.

"It's highly remarkable that Jaime Munguia has got to 42-0. But, really, his toughest fight has been Liam Smith — a junior middleweight.

"Now he's up at super middleweight. And this fight against Ryder is definitely the toughest fight of his career."