Canelo likely to fight Ryder in May, then Bivol in September
By Sean Jones: Matchroom Boxing head Eddie Hearn is still determined to have Canelo Alvarez use British fighter John Ryder as a tune-up for WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol in May 2023.
This will give Hearn a chance to have his Matchroom stable fighter Ryder a life-changing payday against Canelo, but it won’t do much for the U.S. boxing fans that want to see the Mexican star fight an opponent that will make it enjoyable.
“John [Ryder] is the mandatory challenger. It’s the perfect fight for Saul to what he says to run out before Dmitry Bivol [in May 2023],” Eddie Hearn told DAZN Boxing Show.
This writer disagrees with Hearn about ‘The Gorilla’ Ryder being the “perfect fight” for Canelo. It’s the opposite. Ryder = Billy Joe Saunders type of easy payday for Alvarez, and no one wants to see another mediocre fighter trotted out for Saul for a showcase fight to make him look better than he is.
Good options for Canelo’s May fight
- David Benavidez
- David Morrell
- Jermell Charlo – 154-lb champ
- Artur Beterbiev
U.S. fans have already seen Canelo pad his record against mediocre fighters for much of the last four years, with him facing paper champions like Billy Joe Saunders, Rocky Fielding, Callum Smith, and Caleb Plant.
Canelo arguably lost twice to Gennadiy Golovkin and was schooled by Bivol. Although Canelo finally defeated a fossilized version of 40-year-old GGG without controversy last September, he didn’t take the fight until four years after their previous match.
By the time Canelo fought Golovkin again, he was old past it and nothing like the GGG that had gotten the better of the Mexican star in two fights in 2017 and 2018.
Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KOs) using Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) as his preparation for a rematch with Bivol on Cinco de Mayo probably won’t help him as any because his fighting style is the complete opposite of his.
Ryder is a slow inside fighter, who parks himself in close to neutralize the power of his opponents. Bivol (21-0, 10 KOs) fights more at medium to long range and uses an in & out style.
“John is on great form; we’ve just got to look for where that fight will take place,” said Hearn about Ryder.
“Our plans for Canelo Alvarez is John Ryder, then Dmitry Bivol if he’s successful, and that’s the plan we’re putting together now.”
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