A look of bitter disappointment was etched onto the face of Canelo Alvarez.

After successfully unifying the super middleweight division at the tail end of 2021, the Mexican star brazenly attempted to dethrone current WBA light heavyweight champion, Dmitry Bivol. Although the 32-year-old firmly believed that he was more than capable of getting the job done, his Russian counterpart proved him wrong, outpointing the pound-for-pound luminary via unanimous decision.

Following his setback, Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs) fought listlessly against Gennadiy Golovkin, eking out a decision on the judge's scorecards. Alvarez, admittedly, revealed that his lukewarm efforts as of late, stemmed from a bothersome hand injury.

Having undergone left wrist surgery to correct said problem, Alvarez is set to test his surgically repaired hand on the noggin of John Ryder. Officially, the two will meet on May 6th, in Alvarez’s hometown of Jalisco, Mexico.

Thus far, Alvarez’s opponent selection has been met with some applause but a loud chorus of boos. David Benavidez, however, isn’t willing to chastise Alvarez like his detractors. In his view, his upcoming showdown against Ryder won’t be an arduous one but he still believes that fans should cut him a bit of slack.

“I feel like a lot of fans are mad about it but it’s a tuneup fight for him,” said Benavidez to FightHype.com recently. “He’s coming back from an injury.”

Since suffering a controversial defeat at the hands of Callum Smith in 2019, Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) has steadied the ship, reeling off four consecutive wins. 2022, in particular, was Ryder’s finest hour. To kick off his year, the 34-year-old registered a victory over Daniel Jacobs. Shortly after, Ryder parlayed that win into another upset triumph over Zach Parker, netting him the WBO interim crown.

Although the British native isn’t viewed as the most technical 168-pounder around, after carefully checking out his resume, Benavidez is convinced that he’ll at least make Alvarez work come fight night.

“It’s gonna be a good fight man.”