Canelo Set For May 6th Return vs Ryder
Current undisputed super middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs) appears to have his next fight secured. ESPN reported today that Alvarez will square off against John Ryder (3-5, 1 KOs) on May 6th. The fight is set to take place in Canelo’s home country of Mexico, where he has not fought in over a decade. No site has been officially named yet, but Jalisco is the expected location.
2021 was a great year for Canelo because he became Mexico’s first ever undisputed champion, but he does not have the same momentum now as he did entering 2022. He was beaten soundly by WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) last May. Even though he bounced back to defeat Gennadiy Golovkin (42-2-1, 37 KOs) in their trilogy fight later on in the year, it was an underwhelming performance overall against an aged Golovkin. Canelo has since undergone surgery left wrist surgery, and despite original reports that he would wait until September, he is once again fighting on Cinco de Mayo weekend.
John Ryder had a very productive 2022 which helped him land this opportunity, scoring two of the best wins in his career to date. He beat former world champion and Canelo opponent Daniel Jacobs (37-4, 30 KOs) in February of last year. Although Jacobs faded down the stretch, I still thought he won at least seven rounds and that Ryder got a hometown decision. In Ryder’s defense, I also thought he had a good argument for beating Callum Smith (29-1) for his WBA title in 2019, a fight he lost via unanimous decision. He went on to fight Zach Parker for the WBO interim title, and was awarded the victory after Parker (22-1, 16 KOs) retired on his stool before round five due to a broken hand.
Ryder is a pro’s pro, and I enjoy seeing guys get the most out of their capabilities, but the talent gap between him and Canelo Alvarez will most likely be too much for him to overcome. If Canelo is successful in his return, which we all figure he will be, he has his sights set on a potential rematch with Dmitry Bivol to avenge his loss. Whether the fight is at 168 or 175, I think Bivol is all wrong for Canelo stylistically and there are other fights I’d rather see both guys pursue. I would much rather Bivol look to meet Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) in an undisputed 175lb title fight, which would be one of the best fights that the sport can offer.
If the Bivol rematch doesn’t happen, I would love for Canelo to target David Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) in a mouthwatering matchup that boxing fans have been clamoring for if Benavidez were to beat Caleb Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) in March. If Plant were to defeat Benavidez, a rematch with Plant would also be on the table. Two division champion Demetrius Andrade (32-0, 19 KOs) and WBA “regular” titleholder David Morrell (8-0, 7 KOs) are stylistic matchups for Canelo that I would love to see play out as well, but I’m not sure how realistic those options are at the moment.