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Who is Canelo’s opponent on May 6, John Ryder?

The British super middleweight boxer has a long career in professional boxing, and says that he is one of Saul “Canelo” Álvarez’s biggest fans.

The British super middleweight boxer has a long career in professional boxing, and says that he is one of Saul "Canelo" Álvarez's biggest fans.
Juan Carlos Ocampo

Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez will return to fight in his hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico, where he will face the WBO Super Middleweight interim champion, John Ryder, in the Estadio Akron, home of Chivas soccer team. A packed house is guaranteed for the fight to find out who is the undisputed super middleweight champ, but many on this side of the pond aren’t familiar with Canelo’s opponent. So just who is John Ryder?

Born in Islington in north London, Ryder grew up watching storied boxers such as Nigel Benn, Mervyn Bennett, and Stephen Collins. Earning the nickname ‘the gorilla’ in the gym, his physical trainer Dan Lawrence explained its origin to TUDN.

He’s strong as a gorilla because quite frankly he’s dominant in that regard. There are a number of times when he’s defied logic, like when he deadlifted 500 pounds. Considering he was within super middleweight limits, that’s a hefty load,” Lawrence said.

He had a good run as an amateur boxer winning 30 out of 35 fights with Angel Amateur Boxing Club. He made the leap to professional on September 10, 2010 when he faced Ben Deghani whom he TKO’d in the first round, when he opened a cut on Deghani’s eye.

His first title came in 2014 when he defeated Theophilus Tetteh by TKO in the fifth, taking the WBO Intercontinental Middleweight title.

Records in professional boxing

John Ryder declared himself a huge fan of Canelo Álvarez back in 2020, and now at 34 years old with a record of 37 fights, including 32 wins with 18 knockouts and only 5 losses, will face the Mexican for the right to call himself the Undisputed Super Middleweight Champion.

Currently, Ryder has the WBO title, but he has in fact possessed the WBO Intercontinental Middleweight, WBA and IBF Super Middleweight, and WBA Interim Super Middleweight titles at one point.

Perhaps fans on this side of the ocean have not heard of John Ryder, making them underestimate him. But Canelo certainly isn’t. The Mexican champ knows that he will have his hands full on May 6th.