They think John Ryder is a stepping-stone to get to Canelo-Munguia – Tony Sims

Super-middleweight contender John Ryder has flown out to America ahead of his fight in Phoenix with Jamie Munguia later this month.

Ryder is 32-6 with 18 wins by stoppage and he is coming off a bruising but courageous loss to Saul Alvarez last May, in Canelo’s homecoming fight in Guadalajara. 

Ryder’s trainer Tony Sims wants his charge to rip up the script, however, because he believes his southpaw star is being used as a gauge to tee up a future fight between Canelo and Munguia. 

If, for instance, Munguia does a better job on Ryder, a fight with Canelo could be on for Cinco de Mayo.

“Yeah, and I think they’re trying to set up Munguia with ‘Canelo’ [Saul Alvarez] in May, so I think Munguia was half-pushed into taking [the fight with] John Ryder anyway, obviously they need a yardstick to see where he is, you know what I mean? But then on the flipside, it’s a good fight for John,” said Sims.

“It definitely is that [a gauge], because if he comes through in style against John, then I’m hearing that he gets the ‘Canelo’ fight in May. It’s a risky old fight for him, you know what I mean?”

Ryder, who had his nose broken early against Canelo, gave the Hall of Fame Mexican a rough night’s work, and while his stock rose in a gutsy loss, he needed time to rest and recover. 

Ryder did, however, want to go straight back into another big fight. He spoke of wanting to box Gennady Golovkin, but 42-0 Munguia at the Footprint Center in Phoenix certainly ticks the box of a significant bout. It has also allowed Ryder the chance to heal after Canelo.

“Yeah, it was a tough fight, and he had a bad injury on his nose, I suppose he needed to get over that anyway,” admitted Sims. “He had a bit of time out, he bought a house and moved out of London into Essex, so it was a good bit of downtime for him really.”

But the down time stopped weeks ago. Ryder trained through Christmas, even sparring tablemate Conor Benn on Christmas Day in the Matchroom Gym in Essex. Benn boxes Peter Dobson in Las Vegas a week after Ryder-Munguia, and the team travelled out yesterday (Saturday, January 8) for final preparations having banked much of their work through the holidays.

“Yeah, they were all sparring – Conor Benn, Jimmy Sains and George Liddard [who are both on the Las Vegas bill] – they were all in on Christmas Day, it was just another Monday to us. They have Sundays off from training, and then Monday we train. It’s not a great scenario for anyone, but I tried to do it [so it was fair on the fighters]. I set the time for 11 o’clock so they can open presents with their kids, and then we sort of finish about 1 [PM], half past 1 so we can get back for dinner [Christmas lunch] – so the time kind of worked out alright really.”