With Mexican idol Canelo Alvarez still seeking an opponent for September, super-middleweight contender John Ryder has emerged as an intriguing, and perhaps cost-effective, option.

Ryder’s promoter Eddie Hearn has already contacted Alvarez’s team to confirm the Islington southpaw’s availability after Canelo’s projected opponent for May, WBO 168lbs king Billy Joe Saunders, ruled himself out of the running after a Covid-19 enforced postponement. 

“I know Eddie put a text in to Golden Boy and said that we’re available,” Ryder told Sky Sports. “There’s a few names in the hat. Hopefully, my name is at the top and it gets picked out.

“Listen, he’s looking for an opponent and I know the money is not there for these big shows. It’s a chance in a lifetime. I’m up for it. I’m in the gym, I’m keeping fit, I’ve been keeping fit the whole lockdown.”

Ryder is eager for another crack at world honours after pushing WBA super middleweight champion Callum Smith all the way in a contentious decision loss in November 2019.
Photo: Matchroom Boxing/Mark Robinson

Ryder (28-5, 16 KOs) illustrated that he belongs at world level with a spirited showing against WBA Super 168lbs champion Callum Smith last November, with some observers feeling he was unfortunate not to claim an upset win on the cards.

The Londoner will already be familiar to Canelo fans having stopped Bilal Akkawy (WTKO3) on the undercard of the Mexican’s victory over Danny Jacobs in May 2019. Trainer Tony Sims says that Ryder is a known quantity to the Mexican’s camp and already respected.

“I know that Canelo and Eddy Reynoso, his trainer, watched the Callum Smith-John Ryder fight and Eddy Reynoso tweeted straight afterwards that he had John winning the fight by a few rounds,” Sims told Sky Sports.

“He actually put it out there that John should be the world champion, so they know all about John Ryder anyway. Canelo is obviously the world’s best. I believe he’s the world’s best pound-for-pound, especially at the minute. He’s a great fighter.”

Feature image: (L) Golden Boy Promotions/Tom Hogan (R) Matchroom Boxing/Matthew Pover