Canelo Alvarez would’ve made more money if he agreed to fight John Ryder in England, Las Vegas, Los Angeles or somewhere in the Middle East.
Those were the options promoter Eddie Hearn mentioned during their press conference Tuesday in Guadalajara, Mexico, Alvarez’s hometown. Alvarez and Eddy Reynoso, his trainer/manager, insisted, though, that his next fight take place in his home country.
They eventually settled on Akron Stadium, a soccer venue in Zapopan, where Alvarez will defend his IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO super middleweight titles against Ryder on May 6. Zapopan is in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara, the seventh most populous city in Mexico.
Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs) and London’s Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) will headline a DAZN Pay-Per-View show in the United States and Canada, but the price point wasn’t announced Tuesday.
“For me, you know, Saul’s last few fights have been in Las Vegas,” Hearn said during the aforementioned press conference. “And the best fights, the greatest nights for me, although Vegas is amazing, is the stadium fights. We’ve seen him at the Alamodome, Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Dallas Cowboys’ [AT&T Stadium], 70,000, incredible. But this will beat them all. And the answer to your question is he decided that money didn’t matter. He wanted to deliver for his people.”
Alvarez, 32, will fight in Mexico for the first time since November 2011. The four-division champion stopped former IBF welterweight champ Kermit Cintron in the fifth round of that bout at Monumental Plaza de Toros, a legendary bullring in Mexico City.
Fifteen of Alvarez’s past 22 fights have taken place in Las Vegas, but he was completely committed to fighting in Mexico the day after Cinco de Mayo. A crowd in excess of 50,000 is expected to attend the Alvarez-Ryder show.
Alvarez’s stoppage of England’s Billy Joe Saunders in May 2021 drew an announced crowd of 73,126 to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. That total set an indoor attendance record for boxing in the United States.
“Every time that Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez fights, the world is watching,” Hearn said. “Every country in the world wants to host a Canelo Alvarez fight. And Eddy [Reynoso] said to me, ‘Guadalajara. Mexico. That’s where we must fight.’ I said, ‘Hang on one second. We have an offer from the Middle East. We have an offer from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, England.’ Eddy and Saul said, ‘No. Stop. It must be Mexico. We must come home.’ And I’m so happy that they are doing it, because this is a fight and a moment that will be remembered in the history of Mexican boxing and Mexican sport forever.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.