Canelo Alvarez: ‘I’m so excited to show everybody they’re wrong’
Many observers believe Canelo Alvarez isn’t what he used to be. Even he said, “I’m not at my best.”
Maybe that’s why he’s facing capable, but limited John Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) instead of a more significant threat in his homecoming fight on May 6 at 48,000-seat Akron Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico, Alvarez’s hometown. The undisputed 168-pound champ hasn’t fought there since 2011.
Alvarez’s last 22 fights have taken place in the United States, including his first loss in almost a decade, a decision against 175-pound titleholder Dmitry Bivol last May.
“I’m so excited to show everybody they’re wrong,” he said Thursday at a news conference in San Diego, a reference to his doubters. “I feel very good. I have a lot of years in my career, 17 years as a pro. I’ve had injuries too. I’m not at my best but I’m very motivated and I’m very happy to be in the gym, to train at 100 percent, and they’re going to see what is coming. I’m very excited and motivated. Be careful with that.
“He (Ryder) has everything to win, nothing to lose, right? He’s always there, fighting with the good fighters trying to get that opportunity, and now he got it. It’s going to be a danger for me, but I feel good.”
His return to his hometown obviously is important to the 32-year-old, who build himself into a star north of the border but always took pride in his roots.
He evidently enjoyed the news conference Tuesday in Guadalajara to kick off the promotion as much or more than any other in his career because of all the familiar faces on hand.
“The press conference in Guadalajara was an unbelievable moment for me because I saw my grandma, my dad, my mom, my brothers, my family there,” he said. “A lot of media guys I saw when I started boxing. For me, I feel very proud and happy to bring this fight to Guadalajara and give the people some of the experience I have in other places as the best in the world. …
“I think it’s the perfect time. A long time ago I wanted to fight in Guadalajara, but I think this is the perfect moment, the perfect fight to bring to Guadalajara.”
Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs) rebounded from the loss to Bivol by outpointing rival Gennadiy Golovkin in their third fight in September. He had surgery to repair a nagging injury in his left wrist shortly afterward.
Eddy Reynoso, his trainer, said the wrist is now fine and his protégé is looking forward to more legacy-building matchups, including a possible rematch with Bivol.
“We’re not going to let down, we’re not going to retire,” Reynoso said. “… We’re going to return with all four belts that he came with, and that’s something that we’re going to do with pride. We also just really want to put on a good show for the fans.
“He had a great rehabilitation for his hand, and we’ve been working hard. He’s at 100 percent and this is going to be a huge 2023. He’s going to go up against lots of challenges this year in his career and we’re excited for what’s to come this year.”
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