CANELO ALVAREZ is looking for a fight. Before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the sport, he had been expected to meet WBO super-middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. However that fight will not be rescheduled for September. Saunders is reportedly unlikely to be ready for that date and, factoring in the loss of gate revenue with spectators not presently allowed to attend, is unwilling to take a pay reduction too.

There are other contenders eager to get an opportunity to fight the Mexican superstar. Callum Smith, the WBA super-middleweight champion and widely regarded as the number one in the division, could come back into the reckoning.

But Islington’s John Ryder wants to insert himself into the narrative. He acquitted himself well in his last fight with Callum Smith and is training with the hope that he will get the call to fight one of the biggest names in the sport. [He is pictured above working out in a Canelo T-shirt as he visualises getting his shot at the Mexican superstar.]

“Canelo’s now turned around and said that because Billy Joe Saunders is too expensive, he’s looking for someone who would be a more viable option in terms of finances and John Ryder’s put himself into the mix. There’s no reason for me why that fight can’t happen,” his manager Charlie Sims told Boxing News. “His name should absolutely be in the mix.”

John ryder
Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

Ryder would take less money than Saunders and potentially Callum Smith too. “I think naturally he’d have to because he doesn’t have a belt to put on the line whereas Billy Joe does and no doubt Canelo would want that belt. So we’d naturally have to go in with, I would have thought, quite a bit less,” Sims said. “I think Billy Joe is coming to the point from what I can see where he’s looking for that big money fight and the legacy fight, if you like.

“[Smith] regards himself as the number one super-middleweight in the division and he knows that that Ring magazine belt is something Canelo would want if he wants to establish himself as the number one. So we have to take into consideration that even though we believe John Ryder is as good, if not better, than those fighters, that I’ve mentioned. He’s going to have to take less because he doesn’t hold a world title or any sort of trophy that he can give to Canelo. What we do know is, if he does fight Canelo, he’s going to be in that fight. That’s a really good fight. Canelo, he’s probably a natural middleweight. John Ryder’s not the biggest super-middleweight. I think their styles will gel really nicely… They can both fight from the inside in that mid to short range, so I think we would see a really exciting fight.

“I think a lot of people realised that John Ryder is a world class fighter that night [against Callum Smith]. John’s main objective is, if he can’t get the Canelo fight, he wants to fight Smith for the rematch, put things right. If we can’t fight Smith, we want to fight Billy Joe. If we can’t fight Billy Joe, we want to fight [IBF champion Caleb] Plant or [WBC titlist David] Benvidez if that’s an opportunity and if we can’t fight them we want a big name like [Danny] Jacobs, [Rocky] Fielding somebody like that.

“I’m sure something good will happen.”