Canelo Alvarez defends Undisputed Super-middleweight crown

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Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez beat Britain’s John Ryder in front of 50,000 impassioned Mexican fans, defending his undisputed super-middleweight crown on a historic night in Guadalajara.

The Mexican champion won on points despite a spirited display by Ryder at Estadio Akron, with two judges scoring the bout 118-109 and the other 120-107 to Alvarez.

The four-weight world champion won his 59th fight since turning professional, with two losses and two draws.

Alvarez, dominated the fight from the first round and dropped Ryder in round five, but the Londoner fought back well before another Alvarez combination had the referee poised to step in, but a gutsy Ryder stood and traded with Alvarez, showing incredible heart and bravery.

“The power of Canelo, the body work – fantastic,” promoter Eddie Hearn told BBC Radio 5 Live. “John showed he was a world-class fighter but Canelo is one of the best ever. John deserves massive respect tonight.”

The fight was Ryder’s sixth loss in 38 bouts and he has now twice failed at world title level, after being defeated by Briton Callum Smith for the WBA ‘Super’ title in 2019.

“I’ve dared to do and I’ve come up short. The overriding thing is I’m gutted,” Ryder said.

In a fight dubbed the ‘King is coming home’, Alvarez extended his reign as the ruler of the super-middleweight division with Ryder becoming the eighth Briton beaten by Alvarez.

After eight months out of the ring following surgery on his left hand, there were no signs of any effects of Alvarez’s injury as he dictated the fight all through.

It was an event that will go down in Mexican boxing history, and one which could rival any boxing atmosphere around the world.

Alvarez, fighting in his home country for the first time since 2011, is arguably the biggest pay-per-view star in boxing, but in Mexico, he is a true icon whose level of fame in Mexico is unmatched.

What next for Canelo?

After a surprising defeat by Dmitry Bivol at light-heavyweight, Alvarez says he wants to avenge his defeat and become a two-time light-heavyweight champion.

There are not many contests where Alvarez would go in as the underdog, but the classy Bivol was a clear winner in the first fight.

But after a below-par performance in a win over Golovkin last year, boxing fans are more eager to see a mouth-watering clash against former world champion David Benavidez. The undefeated American has 23 knockout wins in 27 fights.

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