Predictions: Jaime Munguia vs John Ryder


Jaime Munguia and John Ryder square off in what figures to be a good action fight this Saturday night on DAZN, live from Phoenix.

Munguia’s still undefeated, but got a stern test from Sergiy Derevyanchenko in his proper 168 lb debut last time out, while Ryder is coming off of a brave but one-sided loss to Canelo Alvarez.

Can Munguia keep the “0,” or is Ryder ripe to pull the upset?

Scott Christ (1-0)

Ryder’s going to be game and will be a solid test for Munguia, and I really do like this matchmaking, I think it’s about the best Golden Boy could do at the moment for Jaime, and it also sees them working with Matchroom to land a good opponent. That’s encouraging all around, at least for the moment. (It’s unwise to get too excited about this sort of thing in boxing.)

But I also think Munguia will be too active, too hard to deter, and too much for Ryder in the end. “The Gorilla” is a good fighter, but his night against Callum Smith — where he earned a win that was robbed from him — was not his typical, and it was, frankly, a very poor outing from Smith, too. Munguia is highly flawed, but he’s also consistent so far, and while I don’t think he’ll stop Ryder, he’s also not going to lose enough rounds to drop the fight, and Ryder’s not going to stop him, either.

I expect a terrific fight, and I expect Munguia to win. Munguia UD-12

Wil Esco (1-0)

Munguia has taken some reasonable criticism as he faced a stretch of opponents that left much to be desired. That mostly came to an end, however, when he took on Sergiy Derevyanchenko in a fight that wound up being quite the fireworks display and took a 12th round knockdown for Munguia to edge out the cards. Derevyanchenko literally pushed Munguia to the brink, but I don’t think Ryder has the capability to do quite the same.

Although Ryder is a pretty good fighter, he has clear shortcomings that I expect Munguia to take advantage of. And while we might not see a definitive knockout ending, I do think Munguia will do enough to take the fight on points as Ryder uses his veteran savvy to see his way through the final bell. Munguia UD-12

John Hansen (1-0)

It’s damn nice to be excited about Jaime Munguia again for pretty much the first time in five whole years. Makes me feel like a kid slightly less middle-aged man again.

Ryder is a rugged guy, and he’s more naturally stocky and established at the 168 pound weight than Sergiy Derevyanchenko. But, I’d probably pick Sergiy to win if the two men faced each other. I don’t think the extra reach Ryder has over Derevyanchenko will matter much against a seek-and-destroy attack from Munguia, and I don’t think Ryder has additional pop on his punches to discourage Munguia any more than Derevyanchenko did.

Ryder was tough enough to go the distance with Canelo, and I expect he’ll do the same against Munguia. If we get an ugly fight and an unfocused Munguia, perhaps Ryder can claim enough rounds to claim a tight decision. But, the best version of this matchup is one where Ryder isn’t likely to outslug Munguia, and I want to believe in great entertainment. Munguia UD-12

Patrick Stumberg (1-0)

Ryder’s had his share of bad performances and he’s likely in for an uphill battle with the judges, not necessarily in terms of Munguia being the A-side but in terms of his best offense being point-blank punches that are hard to spot from ringside, but I’m honestly feeling the upset here.

Munguia was always going to have diminishing returns as he moved up in weight. While the hope was that he’d steadily develop enough technical acumen to support his power and durability, he’s just not there yet, especially with regards to his defense. As good a fighter as Sergey Derevyanchenko is, a bruiser like Munguia shouldn’t be getting bullied by someone 10 years older and 10-15 pounds smaller than him. Not a great sign against Ryder, who’s proven his willingness and ability to push back big power hitters like Callum Smith. Munguia should still have the edge at range, especially since Ryder showed a worrying vulnerability to Canelo’s right hand, but I don’t think he’s got what it takes to stay off the ropes or beat Ryder on the inside.

To be clear, this is all dependent on Ryder coming in sharp and consistently pulling the trigger, which is far from a given. I just get the sense that, outside of true top super middleweights like the Davids Benavidez and Morrell or heinous punchers like Christian Mbilli, Ryder’s as bad a style matchup for Munguia as you’re likely to find. Unless Ryder’s flat and/or Munguia’s leveled up considerably since the war with Derevyanchenko, Ryder lives up to the “Gorilla” moniker and grits his way to a competitive win. Ryder SD-12

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