As if fighting Canelo Alvarez wasn’t challenging enough, John Ryder will now take on the king of contemporary boxing in Canelo’s Mexican homeland this weekend. 32-5-1 Britain’s Ryder will fight 58-2-2 Canelo for the red-headed star’s undisputed super middleweight championship on Saturday at Zapopan’s Estadio Akron, which is located outside Canelo’s native Guadalajara.
The scheduled 12-round deal will be the main event of a DAZN pay per view card. Any fight with Canelo is a great fight, but Ryder frankly isn’t seen as a challenge to Canelo, like recent Canelo adversaries like Gennady Golovkin, Demitry Bivol and Caleb Plant have. However, Ryder, nicknamed “The Gorilla”, aims to shock the world.
“I know it will be hostile; I’m prepared for it,” he says of fighting Canelo on the man’s home turf. “I think to go and fight a champion, you should go to their backyard to take their titles and that’s what I’m doing. Most of fighters have gone to Vegas or Texas to fight him, but I’m in Guadalajara in the lion’s den. Ryder indicates that fighting in his native Mexico could actually work against Canelo this weekend.
“I think the pressure is on him,” she says. “It’s been a long time since he’s boxed here and who expects anything from me? Nobody. People think I’m here for the salary, I’m not, I’m here to prove that dreams can come true. I worked hard to get here and I deserve to be here.”
Ryder also points out that although he’s only 32, Canelo undoubtedly has some wear after facing the likes of Golovkin, Dmitry Bivol, Miguel Cotto, Sergey Kovalev and, of course, Floyd Mayweather.
“I think it’s a good time to fight him,” Ryder says of Canelo, “he’s got a lot of miles on the clock. He had the Bivol defeat last year, I found it strange that he went back to light heavyweight, and then he’s back to 168 and while I don’t think it was a bad performance I think people expected him to stop him (Golovkin) and he drove the final nail in the coffin of the trilogy and he didn’t, even though he won comfortably .
That said, the 34-year-old Ryder says he wants to face a Canelo who is in great shape. “Obviously, he had surgery on his hand,” Ryder says of a recent operation Canelo had on his hand, “and maybe there are question marks about wear, but I want the best version of him because I’m going to give the best version of me .” Some might say Ryder should be careful what he wishes for. Ryder, however, looks extremely confident heading into this weekend.
“I have to embrace the moment,” she says. “After 12 rounds, my hand will go up and the new, from Islington, London, UK, undisputed super middleweight champion of the world, John Ryder. It’s a dream opportunity and I’m not going to waste it.”