Roach on Munguia: “He’s better than i thought”

Jaime Munguia takes on John Ryder this weekend in Phoenix, Arizona, with a wave of optimism from promoter Oscar De La Hoya that the unbeaten former super-welterweight champion can land a big performance and catapult himself into the Canelo Alvarez sweepstakes. 

Along with the optimism, there has also been change for Munguia, having split from trainer, countryman and one of Mexico’s most decorated fighters, four-weight world champion Erik Morales.

Freddie Roach answered the call and became Munguia’s next port of call.

In an interview with Boxing Scene, Roach said that Mungiuia was a better and more complete fighter than he first thought once the pair began working together. 

“He’s better than what I thought, for sure,” Roach said. “He’s a more complete fighter and so forth. You know, the comments about what he does well and what he doesn’t do well really don’t match up with what he is.”

The Hall of Fame trainer added it has been fun working with the 27-year-old, while praising his work ethic and revealing snippets of what they have been working on together.

“From day one, he’s done a lot of work,” Roach explained. “He’s fun to work with. We’ve worked on combinations, changing his style to be more in an attacking motion and not a counterpuncher. And he’s doing very well. The first thing I hear about the guy is that he has a very poor defence.

“And then I said, ‘What are these people talking about? He’s got great offence, and that right there is a good defence.’ It’s not like he goes in there with his hands down and starts swinging with [his opponent]. He’s a good boxer, and he has good footwork and his combinations are very, very good. I know that because sometimes he hits me on the chin.”

Last June, Munguia shared a Fight of the Year contender with Sergiy Derevyanchenko, who introduced Munguia to the 168lbs division. Munguia squeaked a narrow unanimous decision with a final round knockdown handing the Mexican victory on the scorecards. 

Roach said his new charge was active and busy and that Ryder would be made to miss and pay.

“I like it when he’s busy,” Roach added. “He throws really good combinations, puts them together very well, and he has good movement. He’s in and out, side to side, and I think the best thing he’s doing right now is head movement. He has tremendous head movement. He’s making guys miss, miss, and making them pay.”