The Jalisco-born Santos Saúl Álvarez Barragán, better known in the sports world as “Canelo” Álvarez, undisputed super middleweight champion of the World Boxing Association, the International Boxing Federation, the World Boxing Council and the World Boxing Organization, had no difficulties to retain his last belt against the British John Ryder with a 3-0 decision last Saturday in front of some 60 thousand spectators eager to see their idol triumph at the Akron stadium in Zapopan, Guadalajara.
The Mexican’s victory improved his record of 18 years of activity (2005-23) to 59-2-2, 39 knockouts. But the most relevant aspect of the result was that by defeating Ryder, “Canelo” set the stage for a rematch fight with the WBA Light heavyweight champion, Russian Dmitry Bivol, who has reigned since 2017, has never lost in 21 performances, with 11KOs and defeated the Aztec on points when they met on May 7 last year at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
It is worth noting that we take for granted that the expected second Canelo-Bivol confrontation will be the next step in the career of both fighters and possibly in September, month in which the holder of the 4 super middleweight belts, who yearns to reign in the higher division, usually performs on September 16, the date that celebrates the independence of the homeland of Benito Juarez.
We take it as a fact that it will be then when the clash of the two reputed fighters will be staged, subject to what has been stated on several occasions by promoter Eddie Hearn, president of Matchroom Boxing, the company that conducts Alvarez’s fights, and promoted his last Saturday’s bout.
RYDER WAS JUST HOLDING HIS OWN.
A few short lines for a superficial comment on Saturday’s fight in Guadalajara, the first presentation since 2011 of the idol of the local heroe in front of his fans, who cheered him with their shouts during the 12 rounds of action, but who in a way were frustrated because they were expecting a result before the limit.
Canelo made every effort to please the more than 6O thousand people in attendance, but failed to do so despite subjecting Ryder to intense punishment from the first bell. But Ryder, despite surviving a protective count in the fourth and finishing bloodied and exhausted, withstood all the world champion’s shrapnel, who also looked exhausted at the end, more from his sustained attack than from the damage he received.
In conclusion, the attendance of the 60,200-plus spectators at the majestic venue is probably the third largest attendance at a boxing match in Mexico, a country where boxing is a passion. However, this huge attendance is well below two other boxing spectacles that have taken place in the country, such as the world featherweight championship fight between local star Vicente Saldivar and Englishman Howard Winstone and the legendary “César del Boxeo”, as the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez was nicknamed, considered the greatest Mexican gladiator in history, who on February 2nd, 1993 defended and retained the WBC super lightweight belt against the British Greg Haugen, whom he knocked out in 5 rounds. The two programs were staged at the majestic Azteca Stadium. Saldivar and Wunstone drew a little more than 90 thousand souls who saw the so-called “Zurdo de Oro” (Golden Lefty) beat the visitor in 15 rounds on June 15, 1967. For his part, JCCh threw Haugen in the first (“out of respect for the public that filled the Azteca, I did not want to knock him out in that round and I let him run”, words more, words less, said Chávez) and dispatched him in the fifth to unleash the euphoria of the 132,247 people that packed the venue, an all-time record for a boxing fight in the very long history of the sport of gloves and fists.