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John Ryder ready and willing to face Canelo Alvarez in September

After a controversial loss to Callum Smith, John Ryder is looking for an even bigger shot in a weird time for boxing.

M and S Bank Arena Boxing Photo by Richard Sellers/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 got the short end of the stick last November against Callum Smith, losing a controversial decision to the WBA super middleweight titlist in Liverpool, and while he doesn’t seem likely to get the rematch we all know he wants, he’s decided to throw his hat in the ring for an even bigger fight.

Ryder (28-5, 16 KO) is offering to be the opponent for Canelo Alvarez, who is tentatively set to return on Sept. 12.

Ryder also told Sky Sports that promoter Eddie Hearn had thrown a text to Golden Boy, offering the fighter’s services. He’s also quite realistic about why he would potentially get the fight, and sees it as too big an opportunity to let go by:

“Listen, he’s looking for an opponent, and I know the money is not there for these big shows. It’s a chance in a lifetime, I’m up for it. I’m in the gym, I’m keeping fit, I’ve been keeping fit the whole lockdown. Give me the call and I’m more than ready to go.”

While on the surface it would seem odd to put a star on the level of Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KO) in with a fighter coming off of a loss, boxing is not always so simple as wins and losses. Some wins mean fuck all, some losses aren’t anything to get upset about, and sometimes the judges flat out get it wrong. Many feel as though Ryder got the shaft against Callum Smith last November, and I’m one of them. If the judges had scored that fight the way I and others saw it, with Ryder earning the win, Canelo-Ryder would be a perfectly reasonable fight right now, as Ryder could easily be argued as the best super middleweight in the sport.

Alvarez’s date is far from set in stone. Promoter Oscar De La Hoya seems really unsure about what they’re going to do with the superstar at this point, as he seems to really want to wait until some level of crowd is available. But that seems really unlikely to be a possibility within two months — we’re two months away from September, yes — at least if the fight is going to be held in the United States. De La Hoya does say they’ve been working on it, but that they “can’t pull the trigger on anything” right now, “until (they) know what Las Vegas is gonna do.”

Ryder, 31, has had his setbacks and tough nights in his career, but even coming off the loss he’s probably more credible as a top fighter right now than he’s ever been. And he’s right that money won’t be there for something truly big in September, and furthermore, how many “big” fighters are there to put across from Alvarez other than Gennadiy Golovkin? And we know 100 percent it’s not going to be Gennadiy Golovkin.

So good for John Ryder throwing his name into the mix. He’d be the underdog — stylistically he probably has more trouble with Canelo than he did Smith — but it would be a shot to go for it all in a weird situation where people in the sport simply don’t know what to do with big name fighters right now. Of the actually realistic options, Ryder would be as good a fight as we’re going to get, most likely, at least if Canelo is going to go in September as planned.

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