Almost a year back, Jaime Munguia captivated boxing fans with an unparalleled display of skill and impeccable fitness. The only remaining question for the undefeated super middleweight is whether a higher level of competition will lead to a shot at a world title fight.
If he secures a victory against the powerful John Ryder (32-6) this Saturday at Phoenix’s Footprint Center (streamed live on DAZN), Munguia could answer that question. This match poses his most challenging test yet, with the UK’s 168-pounder seeking redemption following a grueling loss to Canelo Alvarez, widely regarded as the best in the sport.
Alvarez’s name is being mentioned by Munguia’s promoter, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya, signaling the next phase of his career. However, Munguia’s current focus, while retaining an unblemished record, is training diligently to deliver another outstanding performance this weekend.
“Nobody’s perfect,” Munguia stated through an interpreter. “We always have to learn, always have to keep improving. At some point, we will lose that perfect record, so we have to continue learning to progress.”
Munguia emphasizes that he has been a dedicated student of the sport since claiming his first victory in 2013. Despite being the reigning WBO silver super middleweight champion, he is not necessarily seeking a repetition of the intense 12-round victory over Sergiy Derevyanchenko in June last year. The physically demanding match was as exhausting as it was thrilling—ESPN recognized it as the Fight of the Year for 2023. The 27-year-old attributes his conditioning to traditional long-distance running.
“I run for an hour to an hour and a half every day,” Munguia revealed. “Then it’s additional conditioning and boxing—That’s my routine.”
In preparation for this weekend’s fight, Munguia has also enlisted the guidance of Freddie Roach, the renowned trainer who previously collaborated with De La Hoya for his 2007 bout against Floyd Mayweather. Despite his unblemished track record, Munguia acknowledges that there were still refinements from his last fight, and he is poised to demonstrate these improvements to fight fans.
“Freddie has helped me polish various aspects that I was already working on,” Munguia explained. “He has almost perfected them, and you’ll witness that on Saturday.”
Prior to Saturday’s bout, Muscle & Fitness engaged Munguia in a discussion about his motivations, preparation, and post-fight indulgences.
What will be your immediate focus after the weigh-ins?
Following weigh-ins, I prioritize hydrating and consuming a significant amount of electrolytes. I opt for a substantial intake of oats and light foods to maintain readiness for the fight.
Has maintaining a specific diet been crucial during your training camp?
Not significantly. My diet has remained fairly consistent. I maintain readiness and don’t require weight reduction during the camp.
Your last bout against Sergiy Derevyanchenko was intense and exhilarating, earning the title of ESPN’s Fight of the Year. How do you physically prepare to endure and excel in 12-round matches?
Extensive, rigorous training is essential to condition the body for the demands of the match. Being in optimal shape is crucial for peak performance, and continuous hard work is imperative.
What is the sensation of enduring punches for 12 rounds in a fight like that?
Enduring punches is an integral part of my livelihood. Proper preparation during the training period readies me for each and every punch during the actual fight.
What sets this upcoming fight with John Ryder apart from your previous matches?
Many fighters tend to remain within their comfort zone, but that’s not my approach. With this fight, I aim to consistently learn and improve. With Freddie’s input, we have elevated our preparation and are geared up for this match.
Describe a standard training day for Jaime Munguia in preparation for this fight.
I commence the day with a morning run, followed by conditioning exercises before breakfast. After a brief rest, the evening entails boxing practice.
How many hours of sleep do you typically get during the training camp?
I ensure an average of seven to nine hours of sleep. Occasionally, it might be six, but typically I aim for seven to eight hours.
Could you recommend a specific training drill that you find most effective and believe every fighter should incorporate?
I am accustomed to long-distance running, typically an hour to an hour and a half. It suits me well, and I encourage others to adopt this practice.
I received this advice from Eric Morales, a former world champion and trainer. He emphasized that in the past, fighters mainly focused on running for conditioning. They disregarded dietary concerns and solely focused on running. This insight led to their endurance in 15-round matches. Hence, I embrace running as it grants me prolonged stamina during fights.
What aspect of training do you find particularly challenging?
I find sprint sessions, often scheduled on Wednesdays or Thursdays, to be daunting. I may wake up feeling good, only to realize it’s a sprint day, which is the task I least enjoy.
Once the fight concludes, what will be Jaime Munguia’s first post-fight indulgence?
I look forward to returning to Tijuana and savoring some delectable tacos. [laughs]