John Ryder hopes he can catch Canelo Alvarez at just the right time May 6.
Ryder realizes why the Mexican superstar has opened as a 12-1 favorite, according to Caesars Sportsbook, to beat him when they fight for Alvarez’s IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO super middleweight titles at Akron Stadium in Zapopan, Mexico. The British southpaw pointed out, though, that they experienced very different years in 2022.
“I just think we’re both getting older,” Ryder said during an interview that was released recently on the YouTube channel of Matchroom Boxing, Ryder’s longtime promoter. “It’s no secret. Saul Alvarez is coming off his worst year as a pro, having lost to Bivol and then not the vintage performance against Golovkin in the third fight that I think everyone was expecting.
“Whereas I feel like last year I had my best year, defeating Danny Jacobs [by split decision] and then getting myself in line for the WBO world title and beating Zach Parker [by fourth-round technical knockout]. So, I mean, there’s always that to look at. I know he had an injury, I know he’s coming back from it, so all to be seen if it was down to the injury. But I’m the man in the opposite corner to test it out.”
The 32-year-old Alvarez had surgery to repair damage to his left wrist following his 12-round, unanimous-decision victory over rival Gennadiy Golovkin in their long overdue third fight September 17 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs) was widely viewed as the best boxer, pound-for-pound, in the sport prior to his unanimous points loss to Dmitry Bivol in his previous appearance May 7 at T-Mobile Arena.
After his decisive defeat to Russia’s Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) in their 12-round, 175-pound championship match, Alvarez returned to his more comfortable 168-pound division to box Kazakhstan’s Golovkin for the third time. While Ryder wasn’t overly impressed by Alvarez’s performance versus Golovkin (42-2-1, 37 KOs), the London native knows he is readying for a very difficult fight in a stadium near Alvarez’s hometown of Guadalajara that figures to be packed with more than 50,000 of his fans.
“Listen, he’s still very dangerous,” Ryder said. “He’s still an excellent tactician. He gets things spot on. And listen, he had a great year in the year when he become undisputed [in 2021]. What did he fight, three times that year? And listen, he really changed the game. He’s had so much success that you can only respect him.
“There’s no bad blood here from me. I respect him as a fighter. It’s not gonna be hard for me to study his fights because I’ve watched most of them already, so it’s just YouTube again, more Canelo fights and just pay more attention now to what he does good and what mistakes he makes.”
The 34-year-old Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) has won four fights in a row since his questionable loss to Callum Smith (29-1, 21 KOs), who was the unbeaten WBA super middleweight champ when he defeated Ryder by unanimous decision in their 12-round, 168-pound title fight in November 2019 at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England, Smith’s hometown. He solidified his spot as the WBO’s mandatory challenger for one of Alvarez’s four titles when a hand injury prevented Parker (22-1, 16 KOs) from continuing after the fourth round November 26 at O2 Arena in London.
DAZN will stream Alvarez-Ryder worldwide, but as a pay-per-view event in the United States and Canada at a price point to be announced.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
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