By Steve Kim Updated on May 08, 2023

The Standard

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It was a triumphant homecoming for undisputed super middleweight champion, Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, who defeated the gutty John Ryder over 12 hard fought rounds at Estadio Akron in Guadalajara, Mexico. Alvarez won easily on the cards by the scores of 120-107 and 118-109(twice).

But while he won rather convincingly, after flooring the Brit with a right hand in the fifth, and busting up his nose early in the fight, he failed off to finish off Ryder. To the contrary, the challenger, who fought for much of this bout with a crimson mask, had some solid moments in the late stages.

HIGHLIGHTS | Canelo Alvarez vs. John Ryder


It left many observers wondering if Alvarez is still among the very elite of the sport. It's a status that he has had for years. Canelo has been in this exclusive club since his victory over Gennadiy Golovkin in their 2018 rematch, and was his membership was renewed as he became the undisputed title at 168, and was more active than any other world-class boxer the past few years.

Picture for The StandardMelina Pizano/Matchroom Sports

But after 64 fights (59-2-2, 39 KOs) there is certainly some tread on the tires. It's not so much his age (32) but really the miles traveled in a career that began at age 15. They physical descent has begun for Alvarez. It's only natural. 

Let's make this clear, he is still very much a skilled boxer, one that is well-rounded and would still be favored to defeat almost everyone from 168-175. But it says here that Canelo circa 2019-2021 wouldn't have allowed Ryder (and more on him, later) to see the final bell. Canelo was strong and powerful in the first half as he loaded up on big right hands as Ryder laid back.

Picture for The StandardMelina Pizano/Matchroom Sports

But in the second half, Ryder had his moments as he snuck in left uppercuts from his southpaw stance, and let his hands go more liberally as Canelo tired. What was an early blowout, became an actual fight in the final rounds. While he didn't win the fight, Ryder showed that he is a boxer to be respected and admired. He didn't walk away with the belts but 'the Gorilla' earned hard-earned respect.

Logan Roy (RIP) would call him a, ''serious fighter.''

The standard -- whether it's low or high -- you set for somebody is what you truly think of them. That applies to all things in life, and certainly boxing. And Alvarez by virtue of his standing in the sport, has been held to an incredibly high bar in recent years. Not only was he considered among the best performers, he's also one of it's biggest draws (which was reinforced by the crowd of over 50,000 on Saturday night) and a true pay-per-view franchise. 

Picture for The StandardMelina Pizano/Matchroom Sports

It's fair to say that he failed to live up to his lofty standards this past weekend, at least in terms of performance. 

But let's make this very clear, while he may have lost an inch off his fastball, it will still take an exceptional fighter (Dmitry Bivol or a David Benavidez) to topple Canelo.



There was some interesting news broken by Matchroom Sports and Eddie Hearn during this pay-per-view broadcast. WBC junior welterweight champion, Regis Prograis, had inked a three-fight pact with the company. Prograis had also been in discussions with Top Rank.

Prograis will face Liam Paro on June 17 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. It will be interesting to see what this means for the junior welterweight division given that many of the other marquee names are under the Top Rank umbrella. Also, there are rumors that IBF belt-holder could be Matchroom bound.

Picture for The Standard Matchroom Sports

Also, it was announced that the highly touted Cuban, Andy Cruz had joined Matchroom as he begins his professional journey. Cruz, won a gold medal in the 2020 Olympics, defeating Keyshawn Davis in the finals.

All of this is good, but that doesn't mean my DAZN subscription will go up again, right?



I don't know about you, but I thought Steve Spark got the shaft in Mexico....JC Martinez got all that he could handle from the persistent Ronal Batista, but he scored an 11th round stoppage to retain his WBC flyweight title...It was a slow start for 'the Nail', Oleksandr Gvozdyk, but he finished with a flourish to knockout Ricards Bolotniks in six....Does Bivol have any say in the matter in terms of what weight he will face Canelo at in a rematch? Seems to me he is boxed in....Can we finally get our warm weather back in Southern California?.....I can be reached at

About Author
The Standard
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for
  • Was a boxing reporter for from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.