If you happen to be a subscriber to DAZN, for the low price of $54.99 you can watch the homecoming of Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez against John Ryder in Mexico. Yeah, tough sell, right?
It's not that Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) is a terrible fighter, to the contrary. He is rated fifth by Ring Magazine, and in recent years his only loss was a controversial decision against the respected Callum Smith back in 2019.
Since then he has notched four victories, which included a close call against Danny Jacobs, and then he earned this title shot by scoring a four round stoppage over the previously undefeated, Zach Parker, for the WBO interim super middleweight title.
'the Gorilla' is a solid, hard-nosed fighter. Yeah, some will continue to point out his loss to the much panned Rocky Fielding (who was folded early by 'Canelo' a few years ago) but the argument can be made that boxers are allowed to have losses and then improve moving forward.
By all accounts, Ryder is a respectable foe. The problem is that the platform which once said that pay-per-view is dead, is now very much in that very same racket. This has most likely clouded people's perception of this match-up. And this is just a couple of weeks after fans had to shell out over 80 bucks for Gervonta Davis-Ryan Garcia, a fight with much more commercial appeal. Chances are this event will do just a fraction of the buys that even procured.
This was the type of fight that many fans were promised would be a part of their DAZN subscription (and once was, when it was much cheaper) and now it looksl ike all the remaining fights of Alvarez's career will be pay-per-view.
At this time last year coming into his contest with Dmitry Bivol, Canelo was the consensus choice as the games pound-for-pound best boxer. But last May he was defeated rather handily over 12 rounds in what was a flat effort at light heavyweight. He rebounded in September by defeating Gennadiy Golovkin in a high-priced sparring session that also went the distance.
While he's just 32 years old, keep in mind he began his professional career at 15, and has 64 bouts under his belt (58-2-2, 39 KOs). There are a lot of miles on his odometer, and who knows if he is now on his physical descent as a fighter. That is part of the intrigue in this weekends bout.
Just what version of Canelo exists in 2023?
So yeah, Alvarez-Ryder is a respectable fight. However, it shouldn't be on pay-per-view.
Both can be true.
Speaking of Bivol, he has not fought since conclusively defeating Gilberto Ramirez back in November in Abu Dhabi. While there has been a lot of talk of him facing Canelo again, right now, the focus seems to be on a summer stay-busy bout.
Vadim Kornilov told SNAC.com on Tuesday, "The goal right now is to have a July, August date. The Canelo situation is being discussed simultaneously. But right now, we're more focused on making sure that he will have another fight scheduled before the end of the summer. There was a date set in June by Matchroom and Dazn that we had to move on from for numerous reasons."
Courtesy of German Villasenor
Kornilov isn't convinced that a rematch with the Mexican star happens, at any weight.
"That situation is being discussed but in my personal opinion, I just don't think they want the fight -- that's why we should focus on our own plan," he stated.
If not Alvarez, then who is their target?
"(Artur) Beterbiev," answered Kornilov, who then clarified, "Well, after the purse bid today, it's the winner of Beterbiev-Callum Smith."
Given that the unified champion is promoted by Top Rank, there are some promotional hurdles to overcome, as Bivol is represented by Matchroom.
Courtesy of German Villasenor
But Kornilov says, "I believe this fight is doable. There are certain hurdles. I don't see Matchroom or Top Rank being the big hurdle in this fight happening. The financial component does represent a hurdle for a fight of this level, but I believe that we are getting closer and closer for all of this to come together."
It's not clear who Bivol would fight in the late summer, should that come to fruition. Especially with the likes of Joshua Buatsi being steered away from this assignment.
"The division is very limited now that Dmitry and Artur have beat most guys between the two of them, at the end of the day, we'll just have to get whoever is willing to take up the challenge, and whoever is available. Dmitriy has been disappointed by some of the opponent options that were offered that he didn't think were challenging enough, he wants the biggest challenges we can find in the division" Kornilov said.
It will be a busy stretch for the sons of Fernando Vargas in the upcoming weeks.
The youngest, Emiliano, has a slot on the Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. As for the other two, Jose De La Cruz, who co-manages the trio with Egis Klimas tells SNAC.com that Amado will be fighting on May 13 in Stockton, California on Top Rank's card. While Fernando Jr, ''he's going to headline an event at Pechanga Casino, June 2nd."
De La Cruz mentions that John Riel Casimero will fight on May 13 in the Philippines and that
'the Mean Machine' Egis Kavaliauskas will be back on a PBC event in June.
Golden Boy Promotions announced that Jaime Munguia will face Sergey Derevyancheko on June 10 on DAZN from the Toyoto Arena in Ontario, California....Speaking of DAZN, they and Matchroom have announced a three-year extension to their broadcast deals in the US and Mexico...Jared 'Big Baby' Anderson will make his homecoming to Toledo, Ohio, as he faces Zhan Kossobutskiy from the Huntington Center on ESPN....I saw the series finale of 'MASH', I wasn't a fan growing up, but yeah, that was great television...I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org