There has been no offer made to John Ryder to face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in September, according to Eddie Hearn, Ryder’s promoter, who added that he did not believe DAZN, the Mexican’s broadcaster, would approve Jason Quigley or David Lemieux as opponents “in a million years”.
Hearn says that Callum Smith is the only boxer from four he put forward for the match that there have been any discussions about, even though Smith, the WBA super-middleweight champion, told Boxingscene last week that he did not believe he would get the fight.
Canelo is due to box on September 12, but with Billy Joe Saunders, who had been due to face Canelo in May before the coronavirus pandemic, no longer in the running, a long list of opponents have been put forward as likely opponents.
With no income generated from ticket sales, Saunders was not willing to accept a greatly reduced offer, while Smith’s demands are not likely to be much lower. It is understood that Golden Boy, Canelo’s promoters, have looked at cheaper options, with Bernard Hopkins, a Golden Boy partner, suggesting Ryder would get the job, while others have mentioned Quigley and Lemieux.
“I put forward to Golden Boy three or four weeks ago Dmitry Bivol (the WBA light-heavyweight champion), Demetrius Andrade (the WBO middleweight champion), Callum Smith and John Ryder and I said this is all the money they want,” Hearn said.
“The only one there has been a discussion about is Callum Smith. So far.
“I saw Bernard Hopkins’s comments. There have been no discussions about John Ryder at all. I do believe he is in the mix. But we haven’t had an offer, we have not discussed money. We have discussed money on Callum Smith and we are not quite where we need to be.
“We are not a million miles away but it is seven weeks this coming Saturday. Luckily, Callum Smith is ready to go, John Ryder s ready to go.
“You don’t have to sell tickets anymore, but you still want a lot of notice for a fight like that.”
Hearn said that both Ryder and Smith would be ready for September 12, although he believes Sergey Derevianchenko and Jermall Charlo, the WBC middleweight champion, were also hoping for a call.
While Hearn is not Canelo’s promoter, he is aligned with DAZN and says he could not imagine the broadcaster approving the Golden Boy promoted-pair Quigley and Lemieux as opponents.
“John Ryder is chomping at the bit, so is Callum but they are in different positions,” Hearn said. “Callum had the WBA super championship, he is The Ring champion, so he has a lot on the line.
“I believe there are other fighters in the mix, Derevianchenko, Charlo. I have seen them put in Lemieux and Quigley, I can’t see in a million years DAZN approving those fights.
“I don’t know Canelo personally but I do get a feeling that he wants to face the champion and I think is he had his choice, he would choose Callum Smith, if money allows it.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for Boxing Scene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.