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John Ryder volunteers to fight Canelo Alvarez in September

Canelo Alvarez

By Dan Ambrose: John Ryder has volunteered to be the opponent for Canelo Alvarez to face on September 12 after Billy Joe Saunders has removed his name from contention. #5 WBA Ryder is one of Canelo’s contenders for his WBA secondary super-middleweight title.

Canelo vs. Ryder would be held behind closed doors without fans on September 12. Golden Boy is concerned about being able to meet the many costs involved in staging a Canelo card.

DAZN pays Canelo $33 million per fight, which an amount that he may not deserve if he’s going to be facing obscure fighters like Ryder. Yeah, this fight would make U.K. fans happy, but not Americans, who aren’t familiar with Ryder.

Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya was doing some mad grumbling this week, complaining about how the other fighters are pricing themselves out for his September 12 match.

Canelo Alvarez

Ryder ready for Canelo in September

Without naming any fighters by name, De La Hoya appeared to be talking about Saunders (29-0, 14 K.O.s), who is resisting the idea of taking a cut in pay to face Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 K.O.s).

Ryder (28-5, 16 K.O.s) will probably fit Golden Boy Promotions’ requirements as far as being a cheaper opponent. But the downside is there won’t be much of a demand for the Canelo vs. Ryder fight in the U.S. from American boxing fans, who have never heard of the Brit.

The U.S fans are not going to get excited at learning that Ryder lost his last fight to Callum Smith. Also, they won’t be happy that he’s been beaten in the past by these guys:

  • Billy Joe Saunders
  • Rocky Fielding
  • Nick Blackwell
  • Callum Smith

Ryder’s controversial 12 round unanimous decision loss to WBA Super World 168-pound champion Callum Smith last November was a fight that fans saw him winning.

The judges went with the A-side home fighter Callum in giving him the win by the scores 116-112, 117-111, and 116-112. Boxing News 24 had Ryder edging it by a close decision.

If Canelo chooses the 5’9″ Ryder as his opponent for September, he won’t need to worry about being the smaller guy for a change. Ryder is the same height as him, but much slower and weaker.

Ryder is a tough customer

What Ryder has going for him is his toughness and his willingness to keep coming forward no matter. If Gennadiy Golovkin had the same tenacity that Ryder has, he probably would have beaten Canelo twice. GGG played it safe too much against Canelo, and that prevented him from winning.

Canelo Alvarez

As for Saunders, if he doesn’t take the fight with Canelo, he’ll be stuck defending his WBO super-middleweight title against the no-name opposition in the WBO’s ranking. The top two contenders in the World Boxing Organization’s rankings at 160 are Rohan Murdock and Zach Parker.

If Saunders was upset about the money he was being offered for the Canelo fight, just wait until he finds out what he’ll receive to defend against those guys. Saunders is shooting himself in the foot by choosing not to fight Canelo because he doesn’t have great options. He’s getting older, and he’s struggling to beat the lesser opposition at 168.

It’s only a matter of time before Saunders starts losing repeatedly, and it finished as a fighter. After Saunder’s career ends, he’s likely to be bitter about having blown his opportunity. Hopefully, he’s not haunted by it for the rest of his days, wondering ‘what if?’

Canelo’s promoters need a better option than Ryder

Golden Boy has got to have a better Plan-B option available to them for Canelo besides Ryder. Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Dmitry Bivol would likely agree to a fight with Canelo in a second, and those would be interesting options. Bivol has already said he’ll move down from 175 to 168 to fight Canelo, and he has an unblemished record.

If Canelo’s ultimate goal is to make sure he doesn’t lose, then he’ll want no part of Derevyanchenko or Bivol. Canelo could lose to those guys.

This isn’t just about finding someone on the cheap. It’s their responsibility as promoters to find an opponent for Canelo that the American boxing fans and DAZN wants to see him fight.

I can’t say that there is ANY interest at all from fans in seeing Canelo detonate Ryder in another mismatch. Canelo has had too many mismatches during his career, and he needs to start testing himself. He’s arguably been following the Floyd Mayweather Jr school of careful match-making in selecting his opponents.

Ryder would be an OK opponent for Canelo if he were coming off of a loss. That’s not the case, though. If anything, Canelo will fight just once this year, and it would be a disappointment if Ryder is the only guy he faces.


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