Munguia vs Ryder Predictions: ‘Gorilla’ is brave for taking this, but it won’t be enough

 | January 26 | 

3 mins read

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There’s something about John Ryder and impossible tasks. Okay, so perhaps nothing in the sport of boxing is truly impossible. Just ask James ‘Buster’ Douglas. But Islington’s ‘Gorilla’ is following up a points loss to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez last May with a teak-tough challenge against unbeaten former world champion Jaime Munguia.

Jaime Munguia vs John Ryder Tips

  • Munguia to win by decision @ EVENS

This is the sort of thing that should be admired. In a sport unbound by fixtures and without a major matchmaking body overriding it, the fighters and their teams have a massive say in their own trajectory. A lot of fighters are content to pad their records and wait for one of the sanctioning bodies to elevate them in the contender stakes. Not so, John Ryder.

Instead he goes in with Munguia, a 42-0 phenom with 33 knockouts and a former WBO light middleweight champion. Now campaigning up at super middleweight, Munguia came through his toughest test last time out, dropping Sergiy Derevyanchenko in the final round of their 2023 Fight of the Year contender. 

It is a fight between two hungry boxers looking to build momentum. One coming off a sixth career defeat, albeit against one of the pound-for-pound greats, knowing a seventh could be terminal for his career. The other having shown uncommon vulnerability and exceptional bravery to emerge from a career-defining war. The ingredients are there for a truly meaningful fight.

Ryder is talented. You don’t beat Daniel Jacobs or Zach Parker without being gifted. You don’t run Callum Smith so close that many thought the Liverpudlian was lucky to emerge victorious if you aren’t a serious fighter. Of the six fighters to have defeated Ryder, four were either former or reigning world champions at the time Ryder fought them. You have to be seriously good to get something against ‘The Gorilla’.

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Unluckily for the Londoner, Munguia fits that descriptor. The Mexican has been a victim of both his own success and some cautious matchmaking. Since vacating his world title in 2019, Munguia’s level of competition has dropped off. Fighters like Gabriel Rosado and Kamil Szeremeta have mixed at the highest level, but rarely won there. Munguia is yet to have a fight at either middleweight or super middleweight where he wasn’t a heavy favourite to win.

This bout is another. Munguia is 1/4 to get it done and that looks about right. Nobody has found a way past him yet, while Ryder is usually beaten by world class fighters, Jacobs aside. The Brit is usually standing at the end though. Only Nick Blackwell has stopped him, in seven rounds of a British middleweight title fight back in 2015. Given the experience Ryder has had against elite fighters since, a near-decade of valuable learning against the very best, it is hard to see Munguia getting him out of there early. ‘Canelo’ had him on the canvas in round five, but Ryder rallied.

Ryder may even pick up some rounds. Derevyanchenko ran him close, as did Dennis Hogan. You’d probably back Ryder to beat those two on a good day. But his aggressive style might play into the hands of a fighter who is as happy doling out early knockouts as he is boxing his way to a decision. Munguia is sometimes criticised for coasting, and Ryder won’t let him do that, but he may opt for comfort over attrition.

This is why I’m going for Munguia by decision. Ryder will be relentless and probably do enough to take a couple of rounds with his pressure. But when the Mexican gets into a rhythm, he should be able to do enough to keep the marauding ‘Gorilla’ off him. You can get EVENS on Munguia seeing it through on the scorecards. But make no mistake, he’ll have to work hard to do it against Ryder.

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