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Canelo vs Saunders: John Ryder flying in, says he’s ready to replace Billy Joe Saunders

Super middleweight contender Ryder is on his way to Texas, whether he’s getting the call or not.

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.

UPDATE (5:50 pm ET): Saunders is now saying the issue is settled.

With Billy Joe Saunders threatening to withdraw from his fight with Canelo Alvarez on Saturday if he’s forced to fight in a 20-foot ring, we’ve either got a pretty familiar situation of fight week nonsense drama meant to draw late attention to the fact that a fight is happening on Saturday, or we might possibly have a situation where a guy really won’t fight.

It’s possible, and Saunders is a strange enough fella he might actually do it. I do believe it’s more realistically possible than Derek Chisora having a fit over who walks to the ring first, or Dennis Hogan and his shorts decorations, at any rate.

Now, Boxing News report that John Ryder is flying to Dallas tomorrow and ready to step in if Saunders actually balks at fighting.

Everything from here is “in theory,” because chances are Saunders (30-0, 14 KO) is still going to be across the ring from Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KO) Saturday on DAZN, but just for the sake of discussion here.

How to Watch Canelo vs Saunders or Maybe Ryder

Date: Saturday, May 8 | Start Time: 8:00 pm ET
Location: AT&T Stadium - Arlington, TX
Streaming: DAZN
Online Coverage:

Ryder (29-5, 16 KO) last fought in December, not exactly shining against Mike Guy but winning clearly at any rate, and is most notable as a contender for a very controversial loss to Callum Smith in Nov. 2019. He has reportedly been training for a June fight in the U.S., so he’d be a bit ahead of schedule, and we may not get a title fight out of it if he can’t make 168. But we’d have a fight, which at a certain point is the most important thing, what with 60,000 or so expected at AT&T Stadium.

I still figure we get the fight’s that been advertised. It’s not that uncommon that stuff like this makes its way through the news cycle on fight week. It is extremely uncommon that someone actually willingly pulls out of a fight like this.

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