Jaime Munguia catapulted himself to an advantageous position Saturday night against John Ryder by accomplishing a feat fellow Mexican countryman Canelo Alvarez could not.
Munguia rocked and dropped Ryder four times en route to a ninth-round stoppage win in their 168-pound fight. Last year, Alvarez fought the full twelve rounds against Ryder and dropped the Brit once during a hard-fought unanimous decision win in what he considered to be a homecoming tune-up fight at the time.
The former 154-pound titlist Munguia (43-0, 34 KOs) is hoping his accolades against Ryder will get the undisputed super middleweight champion Alvarez’s attention.
Should Alvarez look elsewhere, Munguia still has plenty of mouthwatering super middleweight matchups to marinate on.
David Benavidez, Caleb Plant, David Morrell, Christian Mbilli, Erik Bazinyan, Diego Pacheco, and Edgar Berlanga are just some of the top-tier fighters Muguia could face.
Berlanga (21-0, 16 KOs) is more than ready for the challenge.
“Munguia is a big fight for me on the horizon,” Berlanga told BoxingScene.com in an interview. “We were trying to make that fight happen but the numbers just weren't right. We figured we will meet in the future. Everything has to make sense. I have never ducked anyone in my life, ever. It just has to be fair. I feel like that fight is one of the biggest fights in boxing. I feel that we should have fair play with the money. We should both be able to eat at the same time. It's just patience. Hopefully that's a fight we can make this year for the fans. It would be something crazy for the sport of boxing.
“Oh yeah, for sure [it would be a fight of the year type fight]. I don't see that fight going the distance. I know I would have to bite down on my mouthpiece, stand there and just do my thing. Ain't no going back, ain't no running, ain't no trying to box because I know he's coming to fight. And I'm coming to fight too. I know I really have bricks in my hand, so I'm not worried. It sounds exciting. I'm excited. I really want to make the fight happen.”
Berlanga promoter Eddie Hearn is also keen on making the fight.
Last year, Hearn said “if we can’t make Berlanga against Munguia, and we can’t get those fighters in the fight, what are we in the sport for?”
Berlanga will return to the ring Feb. 24 to take on Padraig McCrory (18-0, 9 KOs) at the Caribe Royale in Orlando. The fight will headline a Matchroom Boxing card on DAZN.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.