John Ryder is set for the challenge of a lifetime as he takes on undisputed super-middleweight title holder, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Although, Alvarez’s form has dipped as of late, the 168lb king will be looking to silence his doubters as he returns to fight in his home country for the first time in over a decade. The 50,000 off fans in the Estadio Akron will be treated to an undercard with plenty of Mexican stars…
Jesus Larios vs Alejandro Curiel
Jesus Larios will make his debut on the Cinco De Mayo card, taking on Alejandro Curiel (0-0-1) in the super strawweight division in the first fight of the night. Abilkhan Amankul (3-0) will also appear, looking to continue his 100% knockout record and build on his success as an amateur. The Kazakh middleweight represented his country at the 2020 Olympics and looks like he can be a threat in the division after beating Arlen Lopez in the amateurs, but must first get past Fabian Rios Frausto (7-6-3) on Saturday night in his second fight in three weeks.
Carlos Rojo Vazquez vs Fabian Trejo Rivera
Super-welterweight Carlos Rojo Vazquez (7-0) looks like a serious prospect at the age of seventeen, and will face 4-0 Fabian Trejo Rivera. Vazquez’s last two performances have ended in split-decision victories and will be looking for a more convincing win on the big stage,
Johansen Alvarez Suarez vs Johan Rodriguez Arreguin
Johansen Alvarez Suarez (6-0-1) faces Johan Rodriguez Arreguin over six rounds in the super-featherweight ranks. Suarez will be seeking to add to his five knockout wins in what looks like his toughest test to date.
Lawrence King vs Elio German Rafael
The first of two Americans on the card is Lawrence ‘Dawg’ King (11-1), whose streak of six stoppage victories, all of which were in three rounds or less, came to an end in his last fight over a year ago. King will fight Argentina’s Elio German Rafael (19-4) in a southpaw versus southpaw super-middleweight bout, which looks to be a real shootout, with four of Rafael’s last six fights ending prematurely (W4 L2).
Bek Nurmaganbet vs Argenis Espana
Bek Nurmaganbet’s (9-0) name is beginning to gain traction on the lightweight scene, with seven knockouts to his name and a run of five straight stoppages. The Kazakh will be hoping to break into the top fifteen rankings with another strong performance over Argenis Espana (15-1). However, the Venezuelan, who is also a southpaw, has won all but one of his fights by knockout and will aim to stop ‘Bek’ in his tracks, after a two-and-a-half year hiatus.
Nathan Devon Rodriguez vs Alexander Mejia
Eighteen-year-old Nathan Devon Rodriguez (10-0) is the second American of the night and, at such a young age, could prove to be a problem in the featherweight division. After winning the WBC FECARBOX title in his last outing, Rodriguez has stepped up the competition and will face Alexander Mejia (19-5) this weekend. Mejia may be remembered more for his nickname of ‘Popeye’, than his performance against Britain’s Hopey Price last year, losing an 80-72 decision, but will be hoping to prove a tougher task for the young ‘El Morenito’.
Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs Ricards Bolotniks
Former light-heavyweight champion, Oleksandr Gvozdyk (18-1) continues his comeback after retiring in 2019 and feels he is capable of reclaiming his title after sparring with Canelo. At 36-years-old, the Ukrainian is wasting no time in rebuilding his career, jumping in with former European champion, Ricards Bolotniks (19-6-1), who went eleven rounds with Joshua Buatsi in November 2021. With Bolotniks ranked as high as #4 with the WBA, he represents a clear route for Gvozdyk to get in the title mix, but could be a step too soon after just one fight in four years for the former WBC title-holder.
Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela vs Steve Spark
Gabriel Valenzuela (26-3-1) will meet Steve Spark (16-2) with the WBA inter-continental title up for grabs. Valenzuela gave Montana Love a tough fight last year and will be looking to go one better against Spark, who beat Love by disqualification in November. Despite their results against Love, the Mexican goes into the contest as the favourite, with many believing that he will get back to his best in his homeland.
Julio Cesar Martinez vs Ronal Batista
Julio Cesar Martinez (19-2) is also making a comeback, with title unifications now on the line but just one fight in fourteen months for the Mexican. The flyweight division is wide open for someone to take the undisputed crown, as ‘Bam’ Rodriguez, Sunny Edwards and Artem Dalakian remain open to fighting one another. Martinez will be hoping that is next fight is against one of those champions if he can get past Ronal Batista (15-2) and make a sixth defence of his WBC crown.
Saul “Canelo’ Alvarez vs John Ryder
Finally it is the turn of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (58-2-2) to make his homecoming in a mandatory defence against John Ryder (32-5). Canelo has already dispatched of seven Brits in world title defences and is a hot favourite to make that eight this weekend against an opponent who is yet to prove that he is world level. Meanwhile, Ryder will be glad to have finally gotten his chance on the big stage, after a controversial loss to Callum Smith who then went on to fight and lose to Canelo, and will feel in good form after defeating Daniel Jacobs and Zach Parker in his last two bouts.
Eddie Hearn has admitted that Ryder is facing Alvarez at the perfect time, following two lacklustre performances last year and coming off of the back of hand surgery, but by no means will he be underestimating the difficult task ahead of him. If the ‘Gorilla’ was to come out on top it would undoubtedly go down as one of the biggest upsets in British boxing history, but he and trainer Tony Sims remain quietly confident of upsetting the odds and have promised that they are coming to Guadalajara to win.
Canelo Alvarez vs John Ryder Undercard And Running Order
- Saul “Canelo Alvarez” vs. John Ryder – WBA (Super), WBC, IBF and WBO super middleweight titles
- Julio Cesar Martinez vs. Ronal Batista – WBC flyweight title
- Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela vs. Steve Spark – WBA Inter-Continental super lightweight title
- Nathan Devon Rodriguez vs. Alexander Mejia – Featherweight
- Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs. Ricards Bolotniks – Super middleweight
- Lawrence King vs. Elio German Rafael – Super welterweight
- Johansen Alvarez Suarez vs. Johan Rodriguez Arreguin – Super featherweight
- Abilkhan Amankul vs. Fabian Rios Frausto – Middleweight
- Bek Nurmaganbet vs. Argenis Espana – Super middlewight
- Carlos Emiliano Rojo vs. Fabian Trejo Rivera – Super welterweight
- Jesus Larios vs. Alejandro Curiel – Featherweight