John Ryder says he is not making up the numbers against Canelo

By Sports Desk May 05, 2023

British boxer John Ryder claims he will be no pushover as he prepares to fight Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez for the undisputed super middleweight titles this weekend.

Ryder has travelled to Guadalajara in Mexico as he aims to become England’s first undisputed male champion in the four-belt era on May 6.

Canelo bounced back from his defeat to Dmitry Bivol, this exact weekend last year, with a unanimous decision victory over Gennadiy Golovkin four months later and while fighting in Mexico is new for Ryder, Canelo has never fought in front of his home crowd either.

Much discussion leading up to the fight has claimed champion Canelo has chosen an ‘easy’ bout in a bid to add another British fighter to his winning record, along with the other seven that have come before The Gorilla.

Ryder is keen to show the world that Saturday will not be straightforward for Canelo and is ready to make a statement.

He told the PA news agency: “I’m sure people do see it as an easy fight but I’m in there to make a statement and stake my own claim on the super-middleweight division.

“I want to show people I do deserve to be a true world champion. I was harshly judged on in the fight with (Callum) Smith and already should have a world title but I’m blessed that this opportunity has come now.

“I’ve worked hard, I’ve had a few more fights in and around that level, picked up the interim world title and now I’m sitting in a fantastic position taking on Canelo next.”

Ryder has previously lost five career fights to Billy Joe Saunders, Nick Blackwell, Jack Arnfield, Rocky Fielding, and the most recent being Callum Smith in 2019 by unanimous decision.

Since then, Ryder has won four fights which has given him the opportunity to take on Canelo, but he is not treating it any bigger than any of his previous match-ups.

He added: “I treat every fight as my biggest challenge and I used to get nervous for the first couple of fights I was going in with so-called journeymen.

“The thought of losing a fight like that petrified me because you lose to them people and you are on a road to nowhere, so I always go into every fight giving the opponent the respect they deserve and Canelo is no different.

“If I say I’m supremely confident then people think I’m delusional but I wouldn’t be going out there if I wasn’t confident in my own ability and wouldn’t be taking a team out there that I am.”

The fight will be the first ever boxing match to take place at the Akron Stadium, with around 48,000 fans expected to be in attendance.

“I think the Mexican fans are real fight fans,” Ryder said.

“As long as you’ve giving them what they want to see and putting it all on the line… I’m sure they might boo on the way in but cheer on the way out.”

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