Jaime Munguia, a name synonymous with potential and promise in the boxing world, has long been haunted by a single question: When will he fight Canelo Alvarez? Since making a splash on HBO during its final days in the sport, Munguia has been hailed as the next great Mexican boxer, primed to challenge the likes of Canelo. Munguia has spent the past six years with an open-ended list of potential opponents.
However, for the majority of those years, Munguia's opponents have been far from the caliber expected of a rising star. Despite this, his loyal fanbase has continued to support him, filling arenas in California, Texas, and Mexico. Yet, at 27 years old with 43 fights under his belt, there's a growing consensus that Munguia needs to face tougher challenges to further his career. His recent victory against Sergiy Derevyanchenko, named Fight of the Year by ESPN, marked a turning point. Instead of taking an easier fight, Munguia opted to face John Ryder, a strategic move to gauge his abilities against a top-tier opponent and Canelo's recent challenger.
Despite Ryder's resilience and prior discussions about retirement, Munguia showcased improvements in his style and adaptability, fighting in a lower crouch and demonstrating better timing during exchanges.
Reflecting on his performance, Munguia acknowledged the progress he has made in refining his approach to fights.
"Last time, I was just throwing punches like crazy, but this time, my timing was better. My timing was perfect," said Munguia during his post-fight interview on the DAZN broadcast.
“Right now, I want to get him back in the gym, go back and work on what we need to work on. I'm trying to make him a better fighter than he ever thought of.
Somebody told me that his speed didn't look that good today, I said okay, that's what we have to f------ work on next. But last fight, it was his defense, and all of the sudden he has good defense. Well, he doesn't really have good defense, he has good offense, which turns into good defense.”
Despite past frustrations about missed opportunities, Munguia's recent success has justified the path he and his team have taken. With his sights set on Canelo, Munguia finds himself in the prime of his career, ready to challenge boxing's biggest star. Addressing critics of his recent performances, Munguia expressed confidence in his abilities and readiness for the next level of competition.
"I believe it will be a great fight for Canelo, for him, for all of us. We want the best at 168, and we expect the best at 168,” said Munguia at the post-fight press conference. "It's always great to be humble and be honest with the fans. It's a great motivation also, when people don't believe in you. And that's an answer I wanted to give them, a great fight to answer all the doubts from before, but now, we're ready."
While a showdown with Canelo may not be immediate, Munguia's continued growth under the guidance of Roach suggests that he is on the right path to realize his aspirations of facing the best in the business.