Former WBC cruiserweight world champion, Tony Bellew has labelled Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez as the greatest counter-puncher on the planet whilst giving his prediction ahead of the Mexican’s return to the ring against John Ryder.
After dominating the sport for years and becoming arguably the sport’s biggest star, Canelo had an underwhelming 2022, losing for the first time in almost eight years against Dmitry Bivol and then edging out a points victory to ageing rival, Gennadiy Golovkin.
Now, the four-division champion returns to defend his undisputed super-middleweight title, looking to beat an eighth British opponent in WBO mandatory challenger, John Ryder.
Bellew, although admitting he has a soft spot for his countryman, predicted that Canelo will come out on top and praised the 168lb king’s abilities as a counter-puncher, in his column on DAZN.
“Throughout his career, John has had some really hard setbacks, but he’s always dusted himself down, got back in the gym, and came back for more every single time.
I admire that a lot in a fighter and I’m delighted he’s got this big opportunity, but he’s going to find out very quick just how elite a fighter Canelo is.”
“John needs to do what he done against Smith and that’s try and get on the inside and get in Canelo’s face and just make it a hard fight. Canelo, in my opinion, is the best counter puncher in the sport and I think he’ll just be too good for Ryder in too many areas.
John can emerge from the fight with a lot of credit, but it’ll be Canelo who gets his hand raised after an entertaining 12 round fight.”
Ryder will take Canelo on in his own backyard in Guadalajara, Mexico. The event will be live streamed on DAZN PPV in the US and as part of the regular subscription fee for UK fans.