George Groves says the key to John Ryder defeating undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night is for him to use “volume” punching.
Canelo is fighting at home, and he’ll have the crowd on his side for this fight at the Estadio Akron in Guadalajara, Mexico. That means that the rounds will likely be scored in his favor by the judges if they’re close.
For Ryder to get the nod, he might need to outwork Canelo by a wide margin or score a knockout. Ryder isn’t a big puncher, so it’s not realistic for him to be looking to score a stoppage of Canelo.
In Canelo’s last two fights, he faded after three rounds, and was outworked by Gennadiy Golovkin & Dmitry Bivol. Ryder is a lot busier puncher than those fighters, so it’s entirely possible that he could run away with the fight if he’s able to take Canelo’s heavy power shots.
Like always, Canelo will be loading up on every punch, trying to score a knockout. We’ll see if he can dent Ryder’s chin, as the British fighter hasn’t been knocked out in many years since 2015 when Nick Blackwell stopped him in the seventh round.
That was an arguably premature stoppage with referee Howard Foster jumping in and halting the fight after Blackwell stunned Ryder. In hindsight, Foster shouldn’t have stopped it because there’s a good chance Ryder would have weathered the storm and continued dominating Blackwell.
“If Ryder is to win this fight, he’s going to need a high output and a big volume of punches. He’s going to have to try and dominate the rounds,” said Groves to LegalSportsBooks.
“John Ryder is not someone to overlook or underestimate, and I think Canelo’s team will know that,” Groves said. “He’s a good athlete, he’s very strong, and he converts that strength into very decent punch power, and he’s neat and tidy.
“His footwork is good, and he can close the distance down very quickly. With the power in his legs, he can spring into range very rapidly and let his hands go,” said Groves.
“Many countries wanted to stage Saul’s next fight, but him and [trainer] Eddy Reynoso said, ‘It must be Guadalajara.’ Get ready for history, get ready for one of the best atmospheres you’ve ever seen in boxing,” said Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn during today’s press conference.
“Let’s smile, let’s dance, and let’s sing, and let’s celebrate one of your greatest sportsmen defend his titles in a fantastic fight on Saturday night.”
“It’s been great to finish camp in Los Angeles and move to Guadalajara. It feels like home,” said Ryder. “This is a great opportunity for me. Many times in my career, this looked like an aim in the distance, but it’s here now, it’s finally upon us, and I don’t wish to waste this opportunity.”