By John Ryder
FOR me, Saturday night in Phoenix, the equation is a simple one: The winner stays on.
I know I’ve only got a couple more fights left but that means my mindset is clearer than ever. It’s win or bust – I have to win to keep going. I’m not quite ready to give up yet, I want more big nights in this game and they simply won’t come without victory. It all starts with not only beating Jaime Munguia on Saturday night but doing a proper job on him too.
Now it all comes down to the question – what am I doing it for in the end? I said I want to stay at this level I’m operating at, and this fight is that, against an undefeated fighter. Defeat to Munguia means, where do I go from there? Do I become a gatekeeper or a journeyman? That’s not what I’m in it for. I’m in it to fight the best so I can’t afford to fall short anymore.
So far, 42 have tried and 42 have failed to beat Munguia. The key to beating him is nailing him to the canvas really. He’s got a good work rate and he moved to Freddie Roach recently so it remains to be seen what changes he makes. I just think I have to box to the best of my ability, be sensible, be smart and use the knowledge I’ve gained over the years.
He wants to go in there and do a better job than Canelo Alvarez did in May so hopefully he’s trained hard and left no stone unturned in camp because I sure haven’t. I want to put on the performance of my career and I’m sure he does too.
It’s just over eight months since that fight against Canelo out in Guadalajara so it is good to get back in business. I didn’t think it would take this long but the time ran away from us.
There was a fight offered in September time but only on five weeks’ notice and it didn’t make sense at the time. I had only just moved house and everything was up in the air. I had to be sensible enough to say, ‘now is not the time’, and focus on getting my family settled.
Settling the kids was the priority at that point, making sure everything was right. Actually, it took its toll on all of us, it was a big change. We moved out of north London and into the Essex countryside. It’s a massive change.
It has been a nice change though and it’s well worth it for the space we’ve got now. The house we’ve got is lovely. We used to be in a small flat all on top of each other and that is what you get used to, that’s how it has been for so many years so now to have space it’s quite strange.
I do miss the old area though; it has been home for so long. Luckily, I’m back in London most weekends to do my strength and conditioning with Dan Lawrence so I’m back in the area, able to see friends and pop in. But I’ve actually needed some time away to break that habit, it is a big adjustment.
It is nice but it’s one of those where you feel like you’re turning your back on where you come from. That’s not the case with me but in the old area it’s simply not affordable to be able to have what I’ve got now. It’s not financially doable so moving away is one of those things.
Now, in our new place, I’m nearer to the gym and it’s just beautiful to be able to see my kids wake up in the morning and be able to walk out into a garden. Listen, my partner Nancy made a massive investment in me 17 years ago so it’s good to see it all finally pay off for her as well.
But because of this January date I had to head out on Christmas Day for sparring. I still had somewhat of a Christmas dinner but with a watered-down dessert. But it’s about sacrifice isn’t it? It’s not for everyone, this boxing game, or so I’m told.
I know I’ll miss it all when it’s gone but I’m not there yet. I’ve got a job to do on Saturday night and victory will keep the story rolling on. I know I’ve got a few chapters left in me yet.
#John #Ryder #boxing #game