Eddie Hearn on Canelo Alvarez: “John Ryder the perfect fight for Saul”

By Michael Collins - 12/14/2022 - Comments

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn thinks John ‘The Gorilla’ Ryder is the ideal opponent for Canelo Alvarez to fight in May for a run-out to the rematch with Dmitry Bivol in September.

Hearn wants to bring Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KOs) over to the UK for the fight against Ryder on Cinco de Mayo in May. Although Canelo can make more money fighting Ryder in the U.S., facing him in England will broaden his global fanbase.

Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) is coming off two big wins over Zach Parker and Daniel Jacobs in 2022. Some would argue that Ryder hasn’t lost a fight since his narrow 12 round decision defeat against Jack Arnfield in 2016 because he fought well enough to deserve victories against Callum Smith and Rocky Fielding.

The 34-year-old Ryder is Canelo’s WBO mandatory challenger, and it’s a fight that has got to happen sooner or later if Saul wants to keep his title with that organization.

U.S  boxing fans would prefer to see Canelo fight the David Benavidez vs. Caleb Plant winner, but those two are fighting in March or April, and they won’t be available to face Alvarez in May.

“John Ryder is the mandatory challenger, and it’s the perfect fight for Saul Alvarez to run out before Dmitry Bivol,” said Eddie Hearn to the DAZN Boxing Show. “John is in great form.

“We just got to look at where the fight can take place. Our plans for Canelo Alvarez are John Ryder and then Dmitry Bivol if he’s successful. That’s the plant we’re putting together now.

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“I would love to do it in Mexico or London,” Hearn said about Canelo’s fight with Ryder. “Obviously, he generates a lot of money in America.

“Not as much as he could in America, but at the same time, he wants to break boundaries; he wants to fight internationally,” Hearn said about Canelo wanting to fight in the UK to broaden his fanbase globally.

“I think it’ll be an incredible atmosphere and a great occasion. Honesty,” said Hearn when asked how he keeps a guy like Ryder happy when he’s not the A-side and is going up against a guy that Eddie is rooting for in Canelo.

“It was like that when Bivol fought Canelo. I actually said to Dmitry Bivol, ‘I love you. You’ve been asking for this opportunity forever, and we’ve delivered it for you, but you know, I have a lot invested in this guy, and he’s pound-for-pound #1.’

“Then Frank Smith took over as his promoter, and the same with John Ryder. If we delivered this opportunity for John Ryder, we’d done above and beyond what we ever dreamed of doing.

“The reality is, at that point, it’s you two in the ring in May. I would never get on my feet and start screaming for a guy when I’ve got two fighters in a fight. Never.

“John knows that; John’s not silly as well, but if he did win, I’d be over the moon for him, just like I was with Dmitry. But I’m close with Saul, and he’s a superstar in boxing,” said Hearn.