Beltran hails Munguia as 'new face of boxing'; Jaime says he wants the best at 168

PHOENIX: Zanfer Boxing CEO Fernando Beltran hailed Jaime Munguia as the "new face of boxing" after the Mexican fighter swept John Ryder aside with a ninth-round knockout Saturday at the Footprint Center in Phoenix.

Golden Boy Promotions boss Oscar de la Hoya, who, alongside Beltran, promotes Munguia, waxed lyrical over their fighter to ProBox TV and other reporters backstage, as did Matchroom chairman and Ryder representative Eddie Hearn.

"Statement made!" de la Hoya beamed, smacking his hands on the table in front of him at the post-event press conference. 

"Is this a statement, or what?" Beltran said. "It's definitely a good statement. We all know who Jaime Munguia is — the new face of boxing. Honestly, he will keep working to still be the new face of boxing.

"He's a pleasing fighter to watch. Look at the arena. Look at the arena in other fighter's towns. And he put a lot of asses in seats. We're proud of him. There's a lot of fighters out there. We want to celebrate tonight, not who we're fighting right away."

Hearn, meanwhile, said Munguia is "a very exciting fighter."

When Munguia arrived, reporters immediately asked if he thinks, after wins over Gabriel Rosado, Sergiy Derevyanchenko, and now Ryder, whether he thinks he's now ready for an all-Mexican shootout against Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.

"Yes. I'm ready," he said, albeit "not right now."

He elaborated: "I'll take a little break, and then I'll be ready for Canelo, or whoever comes. I believe it will be a great fight for Canelo, for me, for all of us."

"We want the best at 168 and we expect the best at 168," Munguia finished.

De la Hoya, though, does not believe a Canelo-Munguia bout will be next. He instead said Jermall Charlo could be next in live for Alvarez, which aligns with what a source with knowledge of Premier Boxing Champions' strategy told ProBox TV recently.

"I believe Canelo is going to fight Charlo, the brother. I'm thinking, 'Okay, Canelo is going to walk right through him', and hopefully set-up an all-Mexico showdown in September," de la Hoya told us.

"The 168-pound division is stacked, exciting," he said, adding that there is an effective line to box Canelo, with David Benavidez arguably doing enough in 2023 to also warrant a shot at one of boxing's biggest pay-per-view drivers.

"Benavidez deserves a world title opportunity," de la Hoya said. "He's been waiting in line for however long. Benavidez, I love. His style is incredible, he's amazing. I love his attitude and I love what he represents, his work ethic … he deserves his shot.

"Canelo Alvarez is the key, and the key has to decide."

As for Munguia, should Canelo focus on PBC boxers until the expiration of that deal, then he will make a decision on whether he himself fights someone like Edgar Berlanga.

"I need to get ready," Munguia said. "I have a little cut which needs to heal. Then we will see … if it's May, if not, we wait for the cut to heal."