Sims confident Ryder’s pressure will be telling against Munguia

John Ryder has been wrapping up preparations for his big January 27 date with Jaime Munguia at the new Matchroom Gym in Los Angeles.

Grizzled Ryder meets the unbeaten star Munguia, 42-0 (33 KOs), in Phoenix in his first fight since a bruising 12-round struggle with Canelo Alvarez in Guadalajara last May. Ryder wanted to stay at a high level, and he is not only doing that, but he might be being used as a measuring stick as speculation about a future Canelo-Munguia bout swirls regularly through the sport.

“Yeah, I think he’s a good fighter, he’s got to be good hasn’t he – what is he 42-0?” asked Tony Sims, Ryder’s trainer. “He’s never been beaten, but I’m not sure if he’s a proper 168[lbs] fighter, but we’ll see anyway. We’ll see on the night whether he is or he ain’t, but he’s obviously a good fighter and as we know all Mexicans have got that toughness about them, and he’s definitely got that. He lets his hands go in flurries, so he’s a good fighter. We’ll just see on the night whether he’s strong enough to beat the other 168 [John Ryder].”

Canelo broke Ryder’s nose early in their fight and controlled the action, but he couldn’t dispatch pesky Ryder who made the superstar work the entire way. There is hype behind Munguia, but Sims has confidence in his boxer.

“I think it’s a good fight for John [Ryder],” Sims added. “I mean, obviously he [Munguia] is a good fighter, he’s unbeaten, but he’s never really fought at 168 [lbs]. The last fight he fought [Sergiy] Derevyanchenko, you know Derevyanchenko’s a middleweight, so they made it at 168, but they’re not really 168 fighters. So, he’s not really fought up at that weight, but I know he rehydrates really big, but it’s different when you fight a proper 168 [super middleweight] fighter.”

Ryder is certainly that. He was unlucky to lose a tight decision to then unified 168lbs champion Callum Smith and he holds a close win over Danny Jacobs. The southpaw is game, courageous, powerful and hard to deter and keep off. The Canelo experience will also give him confidence.

“Yeah, he’s always lived a clean life and he’s always trained hard, all the time – whether he’s in camp, or out of camp – he’s always eaten healthy, he’s never drunk and doesn’t smoke,” Sims said of Ryder. “I think he’s lived a very clean life, and you can still go in there with the best fighters in the world, obviously the experience he’s gained over that amount of time, that enables you to be a better fighter anyway, and you can lead a clean life, keep in brilliant shape – which he has done.”

Ryder is out in LA with other Sims fighters, including Conor Benn, who boxes in Las Vegas a week later. After they finish their work at the Churchill/Matchroom gym, the team will take the hour-or-so flight to Phoenix for Ryder’s fight week and a day after Munguia-Ryder the team will fly to Vegas for Benn’s build-up against Peter Dobson at The Cosmopolitan Hotel.

It is Ryder’s strength and experience that Sims believes will make the difference against Munguia.

“Of course, he imposes himself physically anyway on anybody, and obviously prior to the ‘Canelo’ fight, he fought [the likes of] Zach Parker and Danny Jacobs, he imposed his strength on both of them fighters,” Sims continued. “Jacobs was a 160 [lbs] fighter really so, as the rounds were ticking by, he couldn’t really hold John off. When he boxed Callum Smith before that, Callum was blasting everyone out, and he couldn’t really hold John off either, so he’s a really strong man at 168 – it’s just whether Munguia can hold him off for 12 rounds. He [Ryder]’s hard to keep off you. 

“Obviously, you know his style, he likes to fight on the inside, so once he gets inside, it’s tough to keep him off you.”