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John Ryder wants rematch with Billy Joe Saunders if he doesn’t get Canelo fight

The two met back in 2013, with Saunders winning a tight decision.

Callum Smith and John Ryder Public Workout - JD Gyms Liverpool Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

John Ryder is shooting his shot, so to speak. Multiple shots, in fact.

We know he’d love to rematch Callum Smith, after Smith’s highly controversial win over Ryder last November, and he’s said he’d be willing to fight Daniel Jacobs to get that rematch if need be. And he’s offered his services to face Canelo Alvarez on Sept. 12, too.

Now, Ryder says if he can’t get Canelo, he’d also be up for a rematch with Billy Joe Saunders. The two met back in 2013, when they were both unbeaten middleweight prospects, with Saunders retaining the British and Commonwealth titles via very close decision.

Saunders (29-0, 14 KO) would go on to win a world title at 160 and now has one at 168. He was expected to be Canelo’s opponent on May 2, but by his own account is now out of the Canelo race.

Ryder believes it would be an easy fight to make:

“We get on well and the rematch didn’t materialise [in the past] with rival promoters, but now we’re under the same promotional banner, these fights will be easy to make. I want to fight any of the champions. Ideally get the rematch with Billy Joe or Callum Smith, the likes of [David] Benavidez and [Caleb] Plant. I just want the best fights out there.”

The 31-year-old Ryder (28-5, 16 KO) is smart to try and strike while the iron is hot. He’s got more credibility right now than he’s had in years, and went through a period in 2015-17 where he had some struggles, going 4-3 over a stretch of seven fights with losses to Nick Blackwell, Jack Arnfield, and Rocky Fielding, though the decisions against Arnfield and Fielding were debatable.

But he’s gone on a good run, winning four straight against decent opposition, and showed that promise he was thought to have years back in the fight with Smith. And these guys — Smith, Ryder, Canelo — do need opponents, and Ryder isn’t someone who figures to break the bank in a difficult time, either. They’re all no-lose situations in a sense for Ryder. If he wins, awesome, if he loses, no one’s going to think any less of him.

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