By Steve Kim Updated on January 25, 2024

Munguia Enters Proving Ground

Picture for Munguia Enters Proving Ground

This Saturday night from the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, a pivotal super middleweight clash takes place between Jaime Munguia and John Ryder. For Munguia (42-0, 33 KOs) this will be his first outing since going life-and-death with Sergiy Derevyanchenko last June.

He escaped by the skin of his teeth in what was his only outing of 2023. 

Since then he has made some changes, as in his corner now is the esteemed, Freddie Roach.

Picture for Munguia Enters Proving GroundCris Esqueda/Golden Boy Promotions

"I began to train with Freddie Roach because he is an excellent trainer and has an incredible roster of current and former world champions he has worked with on an international level. It was a great decision to integrate our teams together," said the 27 year old Munguia.

It will be interesting to see what significant -- or subtle -- changes can be made to Munguia, who in the past has been a fan-friendly, all-action fighter. This will be his third trainer after having worked with Robert Alcazar, Erik Morales, and now Roach. It will be interesting to see exactly what version of Munguia exists in 2024.

Munguia states, "I feel very good right now. I feel very strong, and I feel like this has been one of the best training camps I have had. It has helped me very much to be here in Los Angeles with Freddie, and it has encouraged me to keep my eyes focused on the job at hand and I believe we are going to make it to fight week in excellent condition. I feel like the fans will get to enjoy one of my best performances yet."

Picture for Munguia Enters Proving GroundCris Esqueda/Golden Boy Promotions

In recent years, Munguia, who held the WBO junior middleweight title a few years ago (and made a good number of defenses), has moved up to middleweight where he promptly turned down more than one title shot. Now, it seems like he's a 168 to get in line in the Canelo Alvarez sweepstakes. So not only has his activity waned, his handlers have turned down opportunities to become a champion. 

Welcome to todays boxing.

But he is facing a well-traveled and hardened veteran that comes with solid credentials. Ryder (32-6, 18 KOs) , who is rated fifth in the division by Ring Magazine, is a rugged, hard-nosed southpaw who put up a game effort versus Alvarez last May in Mexico. Prior to that he took care of the previously undefeated, Zach Parker, and then won a contentious decision versus Daniel Jacobs. Back in 2019 he pushed around Callum Smith and was on the short end of a very dubious verdict. 

Picture for Munguia Enters Proving Groundcourtesy of Matchroom Boxing

This is a solid test for Munguia, if he can't get past him, then he doesn't deserve the bigger names at 168. And for Ryder, it's a way to solidify his place in the pecking order in the division.

"What better way to come back after the Canelo fight than with a headlining show in the United States against a top talent like Jaime Munguia?'' said Ryder, who showed a ton of guts down the stretch against Alvarez in Mexico.  "I'm a different fighter now from when I fought Canelo. I believe I learned a lot about myself. I wish I could have had that type of fight 10-years ago. You learn a lot about yourself, your desires and how deep the fire burns. But, I am here now and the fire is still churning! 

As the odds were release for this match-up, they started off at about -200 in favor of Munguia. But according to Fight_Ghost (of Twitter fame), who keeps track of such things for entertainment purposes only, that number is now up to -400.

Perhaps it's only Mexican money that is pouring in, maybe that number comes down closer to the fight. Or, maybe there is an expectation that Munguia makes a statement on Saturday night. That seems to be what Munguia is aiming for. 

Picture for Munguia Enters Proving GroundCris Esqueda/Golden Boy Promotions

"I honestly feel like I can knock John Ryder out," he asserted. "That's what we are working towards. Obviously, once you step inside the ring anything can change. But we're training to get inside the ring in optimal condition, and if we can't get the knockout we will be making sure we get the decision."



There was a very interesting and entertaining card that took place in Osaka, Japan, where Kenshiro Teraji and Carlos Canizales put forth a compelling battle over 12 rounds for the WBA and WBC light flyweight title. 

Picture for Munguia Enters Proving GroundNaoki Fukuda/Top Rank

They traded knockdowns in the early rounds, and then Teraji seemed to steady things in the middle rounds, but it was Canizales who came back late. And quite frankly, Teraji employed the 'four corners' offense to run out the clock in the final six minutes. 

FIGHT OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE | Kenshiro Teraji vs Carlos Canizales | FIGHT HIGHLIGHTS


After 12 rounds the scores read: 113-113, and 114-112 twice for Teraji. Personally, I had it 114-112 for Canizales, who hails from Venezuela. As I mentioned in the last column, home cooking is served over the world in boxing.



On that same card from Osaka, Seigo Yuri Akui lifted the WBA flyweight title from Artem Dalakian in a 12-round decision. I didn't actually have a real problem with this one....The co-feature on Saturday on DAZN from Arizona has Oscar Collazo defending his WBO strawweight belt against Reyneris Gutierrez....This broadcast begins at 8 pm, ET/5 pm, PT.....Top Rank has announced that Brian Norman Jr-Janelson Bocachica has been added to their March 2nd show at the Turning Stone Resort Casino....I can be reached at





About Author
Munguia Enters Proving Ground
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for
  • Was a boxing reporter for from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.