Hearn: If I Had My Way, Berlanga Would Be Next For Munguia; But He Has A Lot Of Options

Boxing Scene

Eddie Hearn is well aware that Jaime Munguia multiplied his options and ascended into a higher tax bracket by stopping John Ryder in impressive fashion Saturday night.

Hearn considers Canelo Alvarez and David Benavidez realistic potential opponents for Munguia now that he has this type of win against a legitimate super middleweight contender on his record. If it were up to Hearn, however, he would match Munguia against Edgar Berlanga next.

The British promoter – whose company, Matchroom Boxing, represents Berlanga – hopes to re-engage in negotiations with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions to put together a Munguia-Berlanga bout if Munguia doesn’t land what would be higher-profile fights against Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) on May 4 or Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) on another date. Brooklyn’s Berlanga (21-0, 16 KOs) also must beat Belfast’s Padraig McCrory (18-0, 9 KOs) on February 24 at Caribe Royale Orlando in Orlando, Florida, but DAZN has exclusive content agreements with Golden Boy and Matchroom and its executives have expressed interest in streaming Munguia-Berlanga to its subscribers.

“For me, I think [Munguia] has two or three really big fights out there for him,” Hearn said during the Munguia-Ryder post-fight press conference. “I mean, the Benavidez fight is a huge fight, the Canelo Alvarez [fight] is a huge fight, Berlanga is Mexico against Puerto Rico, if Berlanga can look good on February 24th. But I think [Munguia is] a very exciting young fighter. He’s 43-0, great style, and, you know, he’s obviously not my decision. But if I had my way, it would be Edgar Berlanga. But [Munguia] has a lot of options ahead of him.”

Regardless of who he fights next, Hearn “definitely” has a higher opinion of Tijuana’s Munguia (43-0, 34 KOs) than before he dropped London’s Ryder (32-7, 18 KOs) four times and beat the longtime contender by ninth-round technical knockout in their DAZN main event at Footprint Center in Phoenix. Hearn previously questioned Munguia’s resume because the former WBO junior middleweight champion was matched carefully after he moved up from the 154-pound division to the middleweight limit of 160 pounds and later the super middleweight maximum of 168 pounds.

“You know, for a guy who’s 43-0, he doesn’t really have a lot of, you know, really prominent names on the record,” Hearn said. “That’s a fact. But, you know, he was also started [in] his career very young. And, you know, I think [co-promoter] Fernando [Beltran] has done a great job to build him, and now Oscar as well. So, I think to get a stoppage victory over John Ryder is a standout victory.

“I mean, you saw the Canelo Alvarez fight. He couldn’t [stop Ryder] – he had him down, but you know, it went the distance. So, I think the reason that Oscar and Golden Boy picked John Ryder was in the hope that they could stop him and do something that Canelo Alvarez couldn’t. So, I think that was definitely the biggest and most impressive win of his career so far.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

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