John Ryder says beating Callum Smith to Canelo Alvarez fight would be “karma” and “justice”


Less than eight months ago, John Ryder was left heartbroken and wondering why he was not a world champion.

Many felt Ryder should be wearing the WBA (Super) and The Ring super-middleweight belts around his waist after his brave effort against Callum Smith proved to be in vain.

He was left licking his wounds after a controversial decision went against him – but he now believes “justice” and “karma” are about to be served.

Ryder could be in line to beat Smith to a shot at Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez as his team consider potential opponents for his September 14 date behind-closed-doors in Las Vegas.

The coronavirus pandemic has seen finances take a hit leading to Canelo’s team considering giving Ryder the nod for a lucrative pay-day and putting Smith’s dreams of a unification bout on hold.

If travel restrictions prevent that fight from happening, then Ryder believes Smith will find it hard to avoid a rematch meaning all roads now lead to an instant chance to right the wrongs of November 23.



John Ryder is eyeing a super fight with Canelo Alvarez he believes would be ‘karma’ for Callum Smith

“I think if this fight comes off then that’s justice, that’s karma, that’s all served at once,” Ryder told Mirror Fighting.

“With the coronavirus coming about, it’s worked in my favour because this Canelo fight is being spoken about, but even if it doesn’t come off for me or Callum then the potential for the rematch is huge as well.

“If travel restrictions aren’t getting lifted any time soon then surely it gives me the green light for the rematch as well.

“If it’s not a huge fight with Canelo that I get, then surely it should be the rematch with Callum Smith.”

His defeat to Smith in a thrilling domestic clash led to obvious calls for a rematch as well as a ‘heartwarming’ response which has only left Ryder more motivated to come back stronger.



Many felt Ryder deserved the nod vs Smith in Liverpool as the decision went against him

“It was heartwarming really, I got an unbelievable response,” Ryder said of the aftermath of his defeat.

“Obviously you get a few that say I didn’t win it, but the majority think I won the fight and should be world champion.

“It is nice, but at the same time it’s frustrating because you think, ‘if so many people are seeing it this way, why am I not sitting with those belts around my waist? Why am I not world champion?’

“It’s not to sit and harp on it, I’ve just got to push on, try and right the wrong and hopefully now I’ll get the chance to do that either with a shot at Canelo or a rematch with Callum Smith.”

Ryder (28-5) would no doubt be a huge underdog against Canelo, who is rightly considered one of boxing’s pound-for-pound greats.

But he reckons being a southpaw could give him an edge and allow him to cause an almighty upset in Sin City. 



Ryder reckons being a southpaw could cause problems for Canelo

“I believe he just really struggles with southpaws,” Ryder says. “His win against Lara, who was a southpaw, I believe he was lucky to get the decision there that night.

“Obviously Lara is a tall southpaw and I’m a short southpaw, but I think we’ve seen him struggle against southpaws in the past and I believe I’d go in there with a real chance.”

For the time being, Ryder needs to be patient and insists he will be ready if he gets the nod as Canelo’s next opponent.

He added: “At the current time I know that me and Derevyanchenko look to be the front-runners, but I see that Eric Gomez  (Golden Boy President) posted earlier that if you’re in the States you’ve probably got more of a chance with the travel restrictions in place.



Superstar Canelo will fight on September 14 in Las Vegas behind closed doors

“We’re just waiting patiently, waiting to see what’s what and hopefully we can get right up there and get the shot.

“Obviously it’s going to come down to Canelo and his team. They call the shots so you’ve got to be a little bit patient and they’re going to decide in their own time who they’re fighting.

“They know they’ve got a fight on that date, and I guess they’re going to decide who they’re fighting and I suppose they’ll give people the least notice they can if possible.

“I’ve been training hard through lockdown and once the gym was back open it was nice to get in there.



Ryder is now training hard as he eyes a shot at Canelo in Las Vegas

“Now this has come about, it’s just been a case of putting my foot on the gas and staying ready so that if I do get the call I’m not found wanting and we can be on the ball.

“I’m just getting fit and getting ready. I’m keeping my hand in, doing a few rounds a week and getting ready for the later stages of camp when sparring does really pick up.

“If we get the green light that it’s Canelo then we’ll get the appropriate sparring in and if it’s a rematch with Smith then we’ll know how to deal with that style as well.”





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