Super middleweight contender John ‘The Gorilla’ Ryder 32-6 (18) knows his career will be on the line when he takes on undefeated former WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia 42-0 (33) at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday night.
The 35-year-old British southpaw says back-to-back losses would effectively call time on his career, following his game but ultimately unsuccessful effort against undisputed 168-pound champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 60-2-2 (39) in Jalisco, Mexico last May.
“It really wouldn’t be ideal if I picked up two losses,” Ryder told PA news agency. “I’ve been in this predicament before, where I have come from defeat so it’s a must-win. I need to win this to continue my career. A loss here would signal the end for me. I’m not willing to drop down levels and fight at a lower grade.
“I want to go out at a level I know I can operate at. They’re priming Munguia to fight Canelo in May and I’m looking to spoil that party.”
Mexican Munguia, 27, won the WBO 154-pound title way back in 2018 and successfully defended the belt six times before moving up to middleweight in 2020. The six-foot tall Munguia didn’t stick around in the division long, boxing at the weight five times before moving up another weight class in June 2022.
In his last outing in June, Munguia delivered a fight of the year performance in his razor-thin unanimous decision victory over battle-hardened former three-time middleweight world title challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko 14-5 (10) at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.
The scores were 114-113, 115-112 and 114-113. Derevyanchenko was down from body punch in the final round, clinching the victory for Munguia.
Ryder sees himself as a more seasoned boxer than Munguia and believes his sharper, more accurate shots will overcome his opponent’s volume and power.
“I’ve got more experience,” said Ryder. “I know it sounds strange because I have had less fights than him but I’ve got a vast experience at this level.
“Experience is one of those things you can’t buy. I’ve been in with many different styles, I’ve been in the away corner before so it’s nothing new to me and I have all the balls in my court.
“He’s had it his own way so far so I’m going to take it to him, stick it on him in the middle of the ring. I can’t let him push me back like he wants to do or let him get in a rhythm and fight his fight.
“He’s got a high work-rate with a good variation of punches. I wouldn’t say he’s massively quick but he throws a lot of shots so it’s going to be hard to keep the movement going and to keep rolling.”
The fight will be broadcast on DAZN.