We are just nine days away from Saul Canelo Alvarez’s return to his homeland when he squares off with John Ryder in Guadalajara, Mexico. Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KOs) last fought on Mexican soil over a decade ago when defending his super welterweight world title against Kermit Cintron with a 5th round stoppage. His homecoming has the nation gripped.
Coming into the lion’s den in an attempt to rip the undisputed super middleweight title away from the Mexican hero is Englishman John Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs). Ryder has spent the majority of a career with promoter Eddie Hearn and Matchroom, who also look after boxing’s biggest star.
With loyalties split on May 6, promoter Eddie Hearn spoke exclusively to ProBox TV News ahead of Canelo’s homecoming.
“I’m excited, every Canelo fight is a privilege to promote.” Hearn said. “But this one in Guadalajara with 60,000 people is unbelievable. And, it’s John Ryder, who is getting a life changing opportunity. He’s worked his whole career to get a chance like this, he’ll be right up against but will give it everything. Tony Sims gym is coming off a lot of momentum right now, but they have got it all to do.”
Hearn and Canelo have been publicly close since the pair started working together, where Ryder and Hearn have a relationship that dates back over 12 years. The British promoter will once again have to make the decision on who he shall walk to the ring with?
“Yeah it is difficult.” Hearn stated. “John knows he is the b-side in the fight. Obviously, I would love to see him do it. Listen, I had the same problem with Dmitry Bivol, we had two fighters involved with the same fight. You just have to be honest and say, look, we are in Guadalajara, Canelo is one of the biggest fighters we represent and obviously I want Canelo to win. Frank [Smith) will go over with John Ryder and I will be with Saul. I did lose last time though, so we shall see what happens.”
Canelo returns to Mexico having won further world titles in three extra weight classes and now holds the title of undisputed at 168 lbs. He returns to the near 50,000 seater Estadio Akron in Zapopan, Jalisco. The home of professional football team, C.D. Guadalajara will reportedly be above usual capacity when Ryder comes to town on Cinco de Mayo weekend.
“I think the atmosphere will be the best you have ever seen at a fight, It’s going to be amazing.” Hearn added. “We did have other options to host the fight, but It was led by the government in terms of where they wanted to go with it, they wanted it to be in a newer venue so we went for this stadium. It’s a new stadium, Akron. I’ve been there, it’s amazing. It’s going to be a great night, a historical night for the whole country. I’m delighted to be able to deliver this to Saul and his team. Personally it will be another great experience and achievement for Matchroom. Some good fights on the undercard too. Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs Ricards Bolotniks is a tasty fight too.”