By Dan Ambrose: Canelo Alvarez will be under pressure to perform in fighting at home for the first time in eleven years against John Ryder on May 6 at the Estadio Akron, Guadalajara, Mexico.
Choosing Ryder to fight isn’t going to earn Canelo many brownie points with his fans in Mexico or the U.S. because he’s NOT giving the people the fights they want to see.
Canelo is not giving fans the fights they want
It’s great that the 34-year-old Ryder earned the shot against Canelo by beating an over-the-hill 36-year-old Daniel Jacobs and little-known Zach Parker last year, but he’s not who the fans want to see the Mexican star fighting.
Guess what happens when you’re not giving the people what they want to see? You lose popularity.
Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KOs) is returning to Mexico to fight in front of his people for the first time since 2011, and it’s coming at a bad period for him after two consecutive poor performances last year.
With the combination of how bad Canelo has looked and his terrible match-making from 2019 to 2021, fighting opposition the U.S. fans had no interest in watching, his popularity has deteriorated.
Canelo putting fights against mediocre opposition behind a firewall on pay-per-view has further hurt his fame.
U.S. fans don’t want to pay to see Canelo fighting guys like John Ryder, Billy Joe Saunders, Avni Yildirim, Sergey Kovalev, Rocky Fielding, and Daniel Jacobs.
Canelo should have lost twice in 2022
Some believe that Canelo is starting to show his age at 32, so he’s selected Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) to try and get a near-guaranteed win. Canelo looked so bad against the shot to pieces 40-year-old Gennadiy Golovkin last September that it was a miracle that he won.
The only reason Canelo did win is that Golovkin made the mistake of choosing to box defensively in the first five rounds instead of applying pressure on him the way that WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol had done to beat the Mexican star easily last May.
The blueprint was there on how to beat this version of Canelo, but for some reason, Golovkin did the opposite of what Bivol had done and gave away the fight by being passive early on.
“I believe John Ryder earned it. He had that win over Daniel Jacobs,” said Barak Bess to the DAZN Boxing Show about the 34-year-old Ryder having earned the title shot against Canelo Alvarez.
“I know John Ryder, and I know how the UK loves boxing. I never thought that they would bring John Ryder to Mexico.
“When you get the opportunity of a lifetime, you go hard in training, and John Ryder is going to go hard and has confidence coming off a good victory, and he is naturally the bigger man.
“The pressure is on Canelo to win the love and the hearts of his people.”