By Sam Volz: Eddie Hearn says he received bigger money offers to stage Canelo Alvarez’s fight against John Ryder in other countries, but he and his trainer/manager Eddy Reynoso insisted on fighting in Mexico for their next contest on May 6th.
Canelo-Ryder will be a tough sell as far as peddling it on DAZN pay-per-view to the fans, as it’s not sellable. Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs). Hearn will have his work cut out to try and sell this fight on PPV because this isn’t a main event-level fight. Canelo-Ryder looks out of place on PPV.
According to Salvador Rodriguez, the Canelo-Ryder undercard will have WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez fighting McWilliams Arroyo and former WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk fighting a still-to-be-determined opponent.
Ryder has lost to three of Canelo’s former victims, and it’s difficult to view this as other than a complete mismatch. The only way Canelo loses is if he’s totally washed up, which you can argue he’s very near fitting that category.
It’s not a big deal for fans of Canelo’s decision to take less money to fight in Mexico on May 6th, but what they do have an issue with is the level of opponent in choosing the 34-year-old Ryder and placing it on DAZN pay-per-view.
Shockingly, Canelo would place this level of a fight on PPV, but it shows you where his priorities are as he nears the end of his career.
Why is Canelo vs. Ryder being staged in Mexico?
“Hearn says Canelo wanted to fight at home in Mexico before he retires. So by facing Ryder now, he’s allowing his hometown fans to see him.
What Hearn isn’t saying is why he chose Ryder as his opponent to fight in front of his fans in Mexico. It’s pretty obvious. Ryder is a winnable fight for Canelo, a very, very winnable one. When Canelo faces Dmitry Bivol in a rematch later this year in September, that’s a fight he’s likely to lose, perhaps badly.
Likewise, if Canelo chooses to face David Benavidez, that’s another one that he could get beaten as well. Obviously, Canelo won’t want his Mexican fans to see him getting beaten by Bivol & Benavidez. Hence, he’s picked Ryder as his opponent to fight in Guadalajara, Mexico, rather than them.
“He’s coming off not a good year, coming off an injury, fighting in front of his home fans for the first time in 12 years, so the pressure is on him,” said John Ryder to Fight Hub TV about Canelo Alvarez having the weight on his shoulders for their May 6th fight in Guadalajara, Mexico.
“I believe timing is everything, and I believe the timing is right now,” said Ryder.
“This is my sixth fight promoting Saul, and we’ve always spoken about Mexico,” said Eddie Hearn. “He made it happen. The money is less, but this is the time. A lot of people believe Ryder beat Callum Smith, but he came back and beat Danny Jacobs and Zach Parker.
“Saul is coming back from injuries as well. John Ryder has a big heart and will give a great fight on Cinco de Mayo. If he would have beaten Callum Smith, he would have gotten this fight two years ago.
“We’ve kept getting offers from around the world, and the money was very different. I would go to [Canelo’s trainer/manager] Eddy [Reynoso] and say, ‘We got this offer here, and we got this offer in Mexico.’ ‘No, no, Mexico.’
“I would go back to the people and say, ‘Sorry, we’re going to Mexico.’ ‘Wait, here’s a new offer.’ It was Eddy and Saul. They said, ‘No, stop. This is where we’re going.’ They obviously have a lot of support from the government from here in Jalisco, which is very important in making the event.
“Money, of course, is important, but memories, pictures, no one can ever take that away from you. You can tell from all his achievements what that actually means to him.
“This was about making sure before he retires, which is hopefully a long way away, that he was able to come back and fight in his hometown, and this is very important to him.
“Everybody knows the money before you start. You have the pay-per-view, of course, on DAZN. John Ryder is my friend. I’ve promoted him for ten years. This is about sitting back and watching. This is 50,000 in Guadalajara. It’s going to be wild, and I’m very lucky to be a part of it,” said Hearn.