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“I Think That The Pressure Is On Him.” John Ryder Believes Canelo Will Feel The Heat Fighting At Home

By: Sean Crose

As if fighting Canelo Alvarez isn’t challenging enough, John Ryder will now be facing the king of contemporary boxing in Canelo’s Mexican homeland this weekend. Britain’s 32-5-1 Ryder will be battling the 58-2-2 Canelo for the red haired star’s undisputed super middleweight championship on Saturday at Zapopan’s Estadio Akron, which is located outside Canelo’s native Guadalajara.

The scheduled 12 round affair will be the main event of a DAZN pay per view card. Any Canelo fight is a big fight, but Ryder frankly isn’t viewed as being as much of a challenge for Canelo, as recent Canelo opponents such as Gennady Golovkin, Demitry Bivol and Caleb Plant have. Still, Ryder, who goes by the nickname “The Gorilla,” aims to shock the world.

May 2, 2023; Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico; John Ryder and his trainer, Tony Sims, ahead of Ryder’s bout versus Saul Alvarez on May 6, 2023 at Estadio Akron in Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico. Mandatory Credit: Melina Pizano/Matchroom.

“I know it’s going to be hostile; I am prepared for it,” he says of fighting Canelo on the man’s home turf. “I think to go and fight a champion, you should go to their backyard to take their titles and that’s what I am doing. Most fighters have gone to Vegas or Texas to fight him, but I’m in Guadalajara in the Lion’s Den.” Ryder indicates that fighting in his native Mexico may actually work against Canelo this weekend.

“I think that the pressure is on him,” he says. “It’s been a long time since he boxed here and who expects anything of me? No one. People think I am here for the paycheck, I am not, I am here to show that dreams can come true. I’ve worked hard to get here, and I deserve to be here.”

Ryder also points out that, although he’s only 32 years of age, Canelo undoubtedly has some wear and tear after facing the likes of Golovkin, Dmitry Bivol, Miguel Cotto, Sergey Kovalev, and – of course – Floyd Mayweather.

“I think it is a good time to fight him,” Ryder says of Canelo, “he has a lot of miles on the clock. Last year he had the Bivol defeat, I found it strange that he went back to Light-Heavyweight, and then he went back to 168 and while I don’t think it was a bad performance, I think people were expecting him to stop him (Golovkin) and put the final nail in the coffin of the trilogy and he didn’t, although he did win comfortably.”

With that being said, the 34 year old Ryder says he wants to face a Canelo who is in prime form. “Obviously, he’s had the surgery on his hand,” Ryder says of a recent operation Canelo had on his hand, “and maybe there’s question marks on wear and tear, but I want the best version of him because I will give the best version of me.” Some might say Ryder should be careful what he wishes for. Ryder, however, appears supremely confident heading into this weekend.  

“I have to embrace the moment,” he says. “After 12 rounds, my hand will be raised, and the new, from Islington, London, UK, undisputed World Super-Middleweight champion, John Ryder. It’s a dream opportunity and I don’t plan to waste it.”

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