By Brian Webber: Eddie Hearn said today that he’s interested in matching undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez against his WBO mandatory John Ryder in London.
Ryder defeated Zach Parker last weekend to place himself in a position to challenge Canelo as the WBO mandatory.
Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KOs) wants to take a tune-up fight in May to test out his left wrist that he just had operated on; Ryder is the ideal safe opponent for him.
Canelo needs a quality tune-up
If Canelo takes a tune-up in May, Ryder would be a good choice because he’s not a huge puncher, he’s slow, and he doesn’t have a high punch output to worry him.
On the downside, Canelo wants to fight a rematch with Dmitry Bivol in September next year, and Ryder’s fighting style is completely different. Bivol throws combinations, whereas Ryder is a slow, one-punch-at-a-time fighter who smothers his opposition on the inside.
The only fighter that could adequately prepare Canelo for a rematch with Bivol is WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion David Morrell because he throws a lot of combinations.
However, Morrell isn’t much of a boxer. He tends to jump on his opponents and wear them down with nonstop shots. That would be a tough fight for Canelo, especially given his history of gas tank issues. Canelo wouldn’t want to gas out against a fighter like Morrell because it could end badly for him.
With that said, if Canelo can’t handle the firestorm of punches from a fighter like Morrell, he has no business fighting a rematch against Bivol because he stands no shot of beating him.
“John Ryder just won the interim title with the WBO. He’s the official mandatory for Canelo Alvarez,” said Eddie Hearn to Fight Hub TV about Canelo Alvarez’s next potential fight in May.
It’s understandable why Hearn is so eager to have Canelo fight Ryder because he promotes the guy. In other words, Hearn would have only his hands on the levers of the promotion, and he wouldn’t need to deal with another promoter.
If you’re Canelo, you need a better opponent than Ryder if you’re seriously interested in fighting Bivol again because he’s inadequate in preparing him for that level of a fighter.
Ryder is the type that would prepare Canelo for a lower-level guy at 168 or 175, but not against a world champion like Bivol. If Canelo is only interested in getting a sure-thing win in a showcase fight, Ryder would be ideal.
Canelo would need to think seriously about forgetting about a rematch with Bivol because it will turn out badly for him unless he’s prepared for that kind of fighter.
Hearn’s eagerness to have Canelo fight Ryder rather than a more talented fighter at 168 or 175 indicates that he doesn’t think he’s capable of beating Bivol in the rematch.
“It’s a fight that we could stage in London, which would be amazing to bring Saul to London,” Hearn continued.
“It’s a fight that we could stage in Mexico, which, again, would be amazing. We could do it in Vegas; we could do it in LA. It’s really up to Eddy Reynoso and Saul. If they think they want an interim fight, that’s a great fight for them,” Hearn said about Ryder.
“John Ryder has earned his shot. He’s beaten Daniel Jacobs. He’s beaten, and he’s beaten Zach Parker, his mandatory, so we’ll see what happens this week when we chat with Eddy.
“Yeah, I haven’t had the conversations to say, ‘is that the date you want?’ But notoriously, that would be the date, particularly if it were in Mexico or America,” said Hearn when asked if Canelo will be fighting on Cinco de Mayo next May.
“At this stage, it’s about presenting Saul and Eddy Reynoso the offers and the numbers for that fight. The numbers change pending on where it is. Obviously, if you do it in Vegas, it’s more money than if you do it in Mexico or London.
“I do believe that’ll appeal to Saul to fight internationally, and it would be pretty cool in either of those venues. He’s a global star and can fight wherever he wants,” said Hearn about Canelo.
Canelo vs. Bivol 2: Who wins?
Many boxing fans don’t understand why Canelo would, in his right mind, want to face WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol again after the way the unbeaten fighter schooled him last May.
Canelo wasn’t robbed in that fight, and it wasn’t remotely close despite strange scoring by the three judges that worked the contest. The one-sided way Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) defeated Canelo makes it unnecessary for a rematch.
It’s quite possible that Bivol will not only destroy Canelo in the rematch in September 2023, but he’ll also knock him out because he’s going to pour it on this time.
For the fans that remember the seven-punch combination that Bivol threw in the fifth round against Canelo, he could have stopped him if he’d continued throwing like that.
The referee wouldn’t have been able to stand and watch Canelo get bombarded like that from Bivol for much longer if he’d continued to do that. It was just lucky for Canelo that Bivol went back to boxing him from the outside than continuing to carpet bomb him with shots while he covered up helplessly against the ropes.
From Canelo’s standpoint, taking a second fight with Bivol appeases his fans, who won’t forgive him if he doesn’t at least attempt to avenge his loss.
While at the same time, Canelo facing Bivol again gives him the convenient excuse to continue avoiding the ‘Mexican Monster’ David Benavidez.
Losing to Bivol affords Canelo an excuse because he can say the defeat resulted from him fighting a bigger guy from the 175-lb division, which takes the heat off somewhat. But if Canelo were to lose to super middleweight Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs), there would be no excuse to give to his fans other than to admit that he lost to the better fighter.
If Canelo gets beaten up by Benavidez and potentially stopped, it could lead to fewer pay-per-view buys for his fights on DAZN. Fans won’t be excited at seeing Canelo fight if he gets trounced by Benavidez because he’ll be viewed as yesterday’s news.