Canelo set for long-awaited Mexican homecoming vs. Ryder
Undisputed super middleweight champion will defend May 6
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Canelo Alvarez, boxing’s biggest star, has not fought in Mexico in nearly 12 years and he has not boxed in his hometown of Guadalajara in nearly 13 years. But now the undisputed super middleweight champion is set for his long-awaited homecoming.
Alvarez will defend the undisputed 168-pound championship against WBO interim titlist and mandatory challenger John Ryder on May 6 (DAZN PPV) — Cinco de Mayo weekend — at Akron Stadium, which holds around 50,000, in Guadalajara, Matchroom Boxing announced on Tuesday.
The fight, Alvarez’s first since a clear decision over rival Gennadiy Golovkin to retain the undisputed title in their trilogy fight in September, has long been expected. It will mark Alvarez’s first fight in Mexico in 4,180 days.
“I feel really happy to be coming back in May because following my (wrist) surgery, I was unsure of when I’d be coming back,” Alvarez said. “Returning to the ring and coming back to fight in (the Mexican state of) Jalisco, where I'm from, makes me especially happy. And in John Ryder, I’m facing a very competitive fighter.”
The last time four-division champion Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs) fought in Mexico was when he defended the WBC junior middleweight title for the third time in a fifth-round knockout of Kermit Cintron on Nov. 26, 2011 in Mexico City.
Alvarez’s last fight in Guadalajara was four fights before he won his first world title, a sixth-round knockout of Luciano Cuello at VFG Arena on July 7, 2010.
“Canelo’s return to Mexico is historic for Mexican boxing,” trainer and manager Eddy Reynoso said. “He is returning as an undisputed champion. This is proof that a Mexican can succeed outside his country with discipline and love for his sport.
“I feel proud of all of this, because the dream of a kid who started in Guadalajara came true and he returns as a winner.”
Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs), 34, a southpaw from England, has won four fights in a row since a November 2019 decision loss challenging then-WBA super middleweight titlist Callum Smith, whom Alvarez routed to take the belt from in 2020 during his march the undisputed title.
In his last two fights, Ryder eked out a disputed split decision over former middleweight titlist (and previous Alvarez victim) Daniel Jacobs 13 months ago and then stopped Zach Parker, who retired on his stool with an injury, in the fourth round to win the vacant WBO interim title in November.
“There’s no denying that Canelo is one of the greats and I’ve got a lot of respect for what he’s achieved in the sport, but I fully believe this is my time fulfill my dream of becoming a world champion,” Ryder said.
“I’m not going over there for a holiday. For me this is purely business and my full focus is on going into his backyard in Guadalajara on May 6 and bringing those belts back with me to the U.K.”
Hearn said he was pleased to deliver Alvarez the homecoming fight he has wanted as well as a huge opportunity for Ryder.
“This is a moment that will be forever engrained in the history of boxing and Mexican sport,” Hearn said. “Canelo Alvarez defending his undisputed championship in his hometown in front of 50,000 fans will be an incredible sight and a night we will never forget.
“In John Ryder, you have a mandatory challenger that has paid his dues and off the back of big wins against Daniel Jacobs and Zach Parker is ready for the ultimate challenge.”
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Kerching, Alverez is working hard to be Mexico's richest man and i'd bet that the odds on Ryder winning will be the biggest in the history of boxing.