The Estadio Akron in Jalisco, Mexico is the scene this Saturday evening for the traditional Cinco de Mayo fight night, and the country’s biggest star, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, puts his undisputed world super middleweight crown on the line against John Ryder in the headliner.
Matchroom promote Canelo vs Ryder and DAZN televise the card live in the UK and on pay-per-view in the USA and Canada.
After winning world titles across several weight classes, Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs) first tasted super middleweight gold in December 2018, decimating Rocky Fielding in three to take the WBA title, and he would then defend his middleweight titles, and claim the WBO light heavyweight title, before coming back to 168 pounds to defeat Callum Smith to unify.
The Mexican great added the WBO strap by retiring Billy Joe Saunders in eight in May 2021, and completed the full set of belts with an eleventh round stoppage of Caleb Plant six months later.
An attempt to scale the 175 pound mountain again in May last year proved his undoing, as WBA champion, Dmitry Bivol expertly took a points win, with a rematch pending if he overcomes Ryder.
The 32-year-old returned to winning ways and at super middleweight for his last outing, a points win against old foe Gennady Golovkin in their trilogy clash last September.
His homecoming which sees him fight in Mexico for the first time since 2011, is expected to be a simple mission, but John Ryder is hungry and coming off a superb 2022.
After a controversial loss on the cards to Callum Smith in late 2019, Islington’s Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) is in fine form, having won his last four.
The 34-year-old took a split decision over former world champion, Daniel Jacobs last February, and in November Zach Parker retired after four rounds with a hand injury, enabling Ryder to become WBO interim boss and earning him his dream chance to become undisputed champion.
Prediction: This will easily be the greatest away win by a Briton should ’The Gorilla’ do the unthinkable, and although he is in the form of his life, Alvarez should prove way too powerful a puncher, and I expect the Mexican to retain before halfway.
Martinez meets Batista
Julio Cesar Martinez makes a fifth defence of his WBC flyweight title, and it’s likely that he can force a stoppage against Ronal Batista (15-2, 9 KOs).
Victory for Martinez (19-2, 14 KOs) should lead to a unification clash with IBF titlist, Sunny Edwards providing he successfully defends his belt on June 10 against Andres Campos.
Gvozdyk battles Bolotniks
A tasty looking crossroads clash is the highlight of the undercard, as former WBC light heavyweight champion, Oleksandr Gvozdyk meets Ricards Bolotniks over ten.
Gvozdyk (18-1, 14 KOs) lost to Artur Beterbiev when ahead on two cards in 2019, and returned in February with a six round points win.
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Bolotniks (19-6-1, 8 KOs) returned with an eight round win on the cards last April after being halted by Joshua Buatsi in eleven.
Prediction: I favour Gvozdyk to win in a war.
Valenzuela faces Spark
In the remaining ten rounders, Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela can become the new WBA Intercontinental super lightweight champion with a stoppage win against Steve Spark.
Spark (16-2, 14 KOs) has a disqualification win over common opponent Montana Love, who beat Valenzuela (26-3-1, 16 KOs) by unanimous decision.
Nathan Devon Rodriguez (10-0, 7 KOs) can do the same against Alexander Mejia (19-5, 8 KOs) in their featherweight clash.
In eight round action, Bek Nurmaganbet (9-0, 7 KOs) can stop Argenis Espana (15-1, 14 KOs) at lightweight, and super middleweight prospect, Lawrence King (11-1, 9 KOs) can also win early against Elio German Rafael (19-4, 12 KOs).
At middleweight, Abilkhan Amankul (3-0, 3 KOs) can get the job done inside schedule against Fabian Rios Frausto (7-6-3, 4 KOs).
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The sole six rounder is at super featherweight, where Johansen Alvarez Suarez (6-0-1, 5 KOs) can win on the cards against Johan Rodriguez Arreguin (4-0), and super welterweight novice, Carlos Rojo Vazquez (7-0, 1 KO) can come through on the cards over four against Fabian Trejo Rivera (4-0, 2 KOs).
Mexican light flyweight prospect, Jesus Larios is set to make his debut against an opponent to be confirmed.