Home Boxing News Former British boxers hopeful of John Ryder victory, but not confident

Former British boxers hopeful of John Ryder victory, but not confident

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and John 'The Gorilla' Ryder. Photo credit: Melina Pizano

Two prominent retired British boxers have given their thoughts on how they think John ‘The Gorilla’ Ryder 32-5 (18) will fair against undisputed super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 58-2-2 (39) when they meet at Estadio Akron in Zapopan, Jalisco in Mexico on Saturday night.

George Groves, who held the WBA 168-pound title before retiring five years ago, believe 34-year-old southpaw Ryder will come into the bout with wind in his sails.

“There will be confidence in the Ryder camp and I’m sure he’s got the right mindset. He knows this is his big chance and he’ll be given it his absolute all. He’s wired that way,” Groves said to LegalSportsBooks.

“Hopefully what he’s got is enough to push Alvarez but we’ve got to be honest, on paper Alvarez is a level above. He’s performed better, boxed at a higher level and been in there with bigger names and champions.

“But it’s boxing and it’s one versus one, every man on their day, and John Ryder will leave nothing to chance. I think it’s going to be a great fight.

“I predict it to be a better fight than any of Alvarez’s previous fights against British opponents. That includes Billie Joe Saunders and Callum Smith, which was pretty one-sided, but I think John’s had a better run-up and better camp than Smith would’ve had.”

Groves added that Mexican superstar Alvarez, 32, will likely know what he is up against in Ryder.

“John Ryder is not someone to overlook or underestimate and I think Canelo’s team will know that,” Groves said. “He’s a good athlete, he’s very strong and he converts that strength into very decent punch power and he’s neat and tidy.

“His footwork is good and he can close the distance down very quickly. With the power in his legs he can spring into range very rapidly and let his hands go.

“If Ryder is to win this fight he’s going to need a high output and a big volume of punches. He’s going to have to try and dominate the rounds.”

Former European champion Matthew Hatton, who went the distance with Alvarez a dozen years ago but lost a lopsided decision, implored Ryder to block out what will be a very vocal and hostile crowd.

“I’m a big fan of John Ryder. He’s got better and better throughout his career,” Hatton adds. “He’s suffered defeats, come back. Seems mentally very strong and I’m sure he’ll relish it.

“He’s just got to completely forget about the crowd and concentrate on the job at hand. But even when he does that, it’s still a big, big job. He’s got everything going against him.”

Alvarez himself admitted he sees Ryder as a threat.

“He [Ryder] has everything to win, nothing to lose, right? He’s always there, fighting with the good fighters trying to get that opportunity, and now he got it. It’s going to be a danger for me, but I feel good,” Alvarez said.

“It will be one of the best moments in my career for sure. The fight with Billy Joe Saunders in Dallas was amazing, one of the most enjoyable fights I’ve ever been in. I think in Guadalajara it will be the same or even more.”