Boxing Schedule: The Return Of Canelo…but against who?
Canelo vs. Ryder
If we are being objective, this fight screams of the Canelo vs James Kirkland fight. Yes, Ryder might be a bit closer to his prime, but Kirkland probably had a lot more physical gifts than Ryder has. Ryder’s biggest attributes are ones that are not going to be good against Canelo which are a) being tough, b) durable, c) relentless, and d) willing to keep up a strong pace late.
Canelo will be fighting at home in Mexico for the first time in a decade or longer, and has a fighter who is willing to walk forward and into Canelo’s biggest weapon – counterpunches! Though this is a big moment for John Ryder, a fighter who only had 35 amateur fights, and had a couple of bad decisions go against him, fighting for the undisputed super middleweight world titles is a huge deal – but let’s be honest, there is a reason the world isn’t super excited about this fight.
Not unlike my golf game, the harder I try to make something happen, the worse the result. Canelo hits hard, and Ryder knows one way – go forward. This should be the most motivated Canelo in some time as he is fighting for his people, also looking to silence the doubters as David Morrell, David Benavidez, and Dmitry Bivol are all waiting to see if they can land a huge fight against him. Canelo has to look like a legend or be judged for it. Ryder has to do what all great underdogs do – believe they can defy the odds, and if he does – he goes down as a legend.
The fight is more about the atmosphere and crowd than the result, in my opinion, as Canelo’s walkout for this fight will probably be iconic, but I am not sure if the fight itself will be.
The undercard to Canelo vs. Ryder is weird. It seems like a grouping of fighters who either know Canelo and got on the card based on that, or a promoter has no clue what to do with them.
WBC flyweight world champion Julio Cesar Martinez is returning on this card, and is managed by Eddy Reynoso, so that is a no-brainer. Martinez looked pretty average in his last fight narrowly winning a fight against Samuel Cardona. Now he will face yet another relatively unknown fighter in Ronal Batista. Martinez needs to show some improvement from 2022 as he dramatically regressed in many people’s eyes.
The best fight on the card is a strange one as fresh off a first-round knockout of Yves Ulysse Jr., Gabriel Valenzuela will face Steve Spark, in a ten-round fight at 140 lbs. Spark upset Montana Love, and Valenzuela lost a close fight to Montana Love – both pulled off recent upset wins. The fight is interesting and competitive, but despite that – it is hard for me to get excited because it feels like the winner of this fight will go on and probably lose to a talented fighter like Richardson Hitchins. I love seeing the journey of both of these fighters, but the destination to a cynic like myself can matter, and I am not sure where either fighter lands with a win.
A good light heavyweight bout will see one of the better light heavyweight champions in recent memory not named Dmitry Bivol or Artur Beterbiev in Oleksandr Gvozdyk taking on the fun British fight Ricards Bolotniks. Gvozdyk is someone I believe still could be a capable fighter at light heavyweight. Gvozdyk has been sparring with many of the big names recently. If he can get a win here, that just makes the ghost town of the light heavyweight division so much more interesting.
Lawrence King, who was with Ryan Garcia during his rise to fame will fight on this undercard as well. I haven’t seen him fight for what feels like four-to-five years.
Joshua Buatsi Debuts on Boxxer
2016 British Olympian Joshua Buatsi will face Pawel Stepien, who is better known as the man Callum Smith was going to fight before he pulled out of the fight with an injury. Buatsi will be fighting for the first time with Boxxer after leaving Matchroom/DAZN. Over on ProBox TV News, I have had a lot of coverage on Buatsi over there.
Look Buatsi is one of the best fighters in the division and if he does what most believe he will do that could set up future fights with Dan Azeez and Anthony Yarde, both of which are fun British fights.
Ben Whittaker, one of the best lightweights in the world, and British boxing is on this card! WATCH HIM he is really good. Also, 2020 Olympic gold medalist Lauren Price will fight for her first title as she fights for the vacant British women’s welterweight title. Price is the future of women’s boxing.
ProBox continues to do what it does. Give you a great card in the middle of the week, and this one should be one of the best in recent memory. It will take place in the same town in Mexico that Canelo is fighting in, and will feature fighters trained and managed by Eddy Reynoso.
The main event is a good one. Fernando Angel Molina, who had a draw with Aaron Aponte on the Canelo vs Golovkin III ‘before the bell’ YouTube undercard will fight the one-loss Kevin Piedrahita, who is managed by Shane Shapiro, who has recent unified world champion Marlon Tapales under his stable. Piedrahita will be fighting his fourth undefeated fighter in a row and has some serious power.
This could be the best fight of the week.
The co-feature will showcase Reynoso’s newest addition to his stable, 154 lber Lazaro Lorenzana, and opening the card will be 130 lbs Jonathan Lopez of Flordia.
Joey Dawejko will fight in the middle of the week against Colby Madison in an eight-round fight.
In D.C., contender Sulaiman Segawa will face the always-tough Misael Lopez in a ten-round main event, future world champion Rianna Rios will be featured in an eight-rounder on this card and Dominique Crowder is an outstanding bout against a tough opponent in Aston Palicte in an eight-round bantamweight contest.