John Ryder full of belief for Jaime Munguia after Canelo education

John Ryder has another shot at changing his life when he fights Jaime Munguia in Phoenix tonight. 

“I have a lot of belief in myself,” said Ryder, his eyes narrowing as he focused on the task at hand.

Tonight, he meets Munguia in a fight – that might easily become a war – that could elevate the Englishman into another huge night with another big-name dance partner, having boxed Canelo Alvarez in May last year.

The Canelo experience, in Guadalajara in Mexico in 2023, will stand Ryder in good stead this evening. It was a torrid bout. Ryder had his nose smashed early in the contest and it bled profusely throughout, but he was competitive with Canelo and made him work every step of the way. 

Of surviving Canelo, Ryder said: “It is one of those fights that I wish I had 10 years ago,” he admitted. “I learned a lot about myself and the game, and it can only stand me in good stead going forward.”

Ryder is nicknamed ‘The Gorilla’. The Canelo fight afforded him a payday that allowed him to move from London to a new family home in Essex. He is now 32-6 as a pro, and the 35-year-old southpaw, who is trained by Tony Sims, is up against the 42-0 Munguia, who many have tipped for future stardom.

Some reckon Ryder’s size will be advantageous for the Brit, but others speculate that Munguia’s industry and volume will win the day. 

The volume is something Ryder is hoping to negate. 

I think he has a high work rate, but he has changed [trainers] to Freddie [Roach], so there may be a few things different,” Ryder said. “I just need to focus on what he does well and the volume of punches. I know I have to punch with him at times, and he is obviously very fit and very able. 

“I need to throw the shots, catch and counters, and be smart and sensible with my work.” 

Ryder has an uppercut that few seem to be able to get out of the way of. It jolted Canelo’s head back on occasion, and that is a shot he is prepared to fire as Munguia attempts to swarm him. It’s a risky punch, as it leaves a fighter open, but it’s a vital part of Ryder’s arsenal.

“For sure,” Ryder replied, when asked of the importance of that blow from the left hand. “He [Munguia] has the body type to absorb it. He is there, and his head is forward all the time, so it should be a shot that I should be able to land.”

Ryder has been enjoying his time in the US. The team has been training out of the new Matchroom Gym in Santa Monica, and Ryder had been looking forward to flying to Phoenix on Wednesday for the fight week schedule and the face-to-faces.

Camp has been long. After a few weeks off post-Canelo, he was back in the gym hoping to land a meaningful bout and then, before he knew it, he was in the midst of a four-month camp.

“I know all these 12-week camps seem to fizz into one, they seem to drag and get boring, even getting bored of yourself and bored of your own company,” Ryder admitted. “So it is nice when someone comes [up], and you can go to work.”

Camp went right the way through Christmas, with Ryder sparring stablemate Conor Benn on Christmas Day in the Matchroom Gym in Essex a week or so before they left for the US. 

Listen, there have been massive sacrifices going into this fight,” Ryder explained. “This year, it has been a bit different. It's been difficult sparring on Christmas Day when you have young kids back home and the missus, it is still a bitter pill to swallow at the time. But they do understand, they get it, and I’m fortunate in that sense.”