Munguia: Canelo's best is still to come

Jaime Munguia does not believe Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is declining – despite not being convinced by his performance against John Ryder.

Munguia watched from afar when, last month in Guadalajara, Alvarez knocked Ryder down in the fifth round before repeatedly trying, and struggling, to force the stoppage and instead being awarded a unanimous decision.

That he was such a strong favourite but tired late on as Ryder improved has, after Alvarez’s defeat by Dmitrii Bivol and then unremarkable points victory over Gennady Golovkin in 2022, contributed to a growing belief that at 32 he is considerably beyond his peak.

He is regardless pursuing an ill-advised rematch with Bivol later this year, but Munguia, who on Saturday fights Ukraine’s Sergiy Derevyanchenko at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, believes that he could yet again improve.

Munguia and his promoter Oscar De La Hoya – who successfully guided Alvarez through much of his decorated career – have more recently spoken about the prospect of a future fight between the two Mexicans, and Munguia told ProBox TV: “It’s definitely something that we are looking for, It’s something that I really want it to happen. We are two of the best at 168 pounds, that’s why I think this fight will eventually happen in the future. 

“To tell you the truth, I don’t think that he looked that good [against Ryder]; his performance wasn’t the best, I think that he needs to work on those things in the gym. Hopefully he can be his best version again anytime soon.

“I don’t think that he is in decline. When he fought Golovkin, it also wasn’t his best version, and then the last fight it wasn’t close enough [to his best either], so hopefully he can turn things around.”

Golovkin regardless seems a considerably likelier next opponent for Munguia should, as expected, the 26 year old win on Saturday against an opponent 11 years his senior. 

In 2019 Derevyanchenko achieved the rare feat of lasting the 12-round distance against the once-fearsome Golovkin, and in following Golovkin up to 168lbs and fighting one of his former opponents, Munguia appears to be attempting to pressure Golovkin into a fight that has the potential to transform his career. 

“From our side, we want the fight, but as for Golovkin – the Golovkin camp – we don’t know where he’s at,” Munguia said. “Maybe on vacation. But we tried to reach him to make the fight and we didn’t have any answer at all.

“[Jermall Charlo is] another fight that we want. That we asked for. That we – me, [co-promoters] Zanfer, and Golden Boy – tried to do our best [to secure] but we couldn’t. Also, Charlo has been out of the ring for two-and-a-half years now.

“After winning on Saturday, hopefully any Charlo or Golovkin fight can be made before the year ends. That’s what I’m looking for. The best fighters. Charlo; Triple G. One of those.

“At 168lbs is where I feel more – I’m more comfortable as a fighter.”

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