Saul “Canelo” Alvarez defends the undisputed super middleweight title against the battle-tested John Ryder in our featured boxing attraction of the weekend, taking place at Akron Stadium in Zapopan, Mexico this evening.
Canelo is fighting in Mexico for the first time in 12 years, and he hopes a homecoming trip will help him forget his disappointing 2022 campaign.
Boxing odds have Alvarez as a practically insurmountable favorite at -1,600, while Ryder comes in as a +800 underdog ahead of the biggest fight of his career.
Here are our picks and predictions for Alvarez vs. Ryder.
Canelo Alvarez vs John Ryder odds
|Method of victory||Canelo Alvarez||John Ryder|
|Win by KO/TKO/DQ||-370||+2,000|
|Win by points or decision||+330||+1,600|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of May 6, 2022.
Canelo Alvarez vs John Ryder betting predictions
Picks made on May 3. Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
Not intended for use in MA.
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Canelo Alvarez vs John Ryder betting preview
Despite his unbalanced pair of fights last year, Canelo Alvarez is now facing a somewhat less challenging opponent in John Ryder. While he can count on the support of a hometown crowd, there are some question marks surrounding his recent performances, including a tepid decision win over Gennadiy Golovkin, as well as a recent hand surgery that was expected to sideline him for a year.
Against Golovkin, Alvarez dominated him with little more than a jab, feints, and bodywork, but didn't come close to stopping a disinterested rival who looked like he was there to pick up a check. If anything, Alvarez gassed out in the later rounds. It was a tactically sound performance, but far removed from what we’ve seen from Alvarez previously.
That should change against Ryder. The Brit is a grinder working with a pressure style that Canelo can pick apart. Without a glaring size advantage or a cerebral technique to disrupt his rhythm, and only average punching power, Ryder just doesn’t have the tools to spring an upset.
To his credit, Ryder isn't Alvarez's mandatory opponent by chance. The only two losses across his last 11 fights have been questionable decisions, with one being to then-champion Callum Smith right before Alvarez got his hands on him. Ryder is tough as nails, has a great chin, and knows this could be his last opportunity to win a world title.
Although Ryder is a tough opponent, he is outclassed by Alvarez and has not achieved any notable victories in the past few years, except for a split decision win over a visibly declining Daniel Jacobs. While there have been larger upsets in the past, being durable alone will not be enough to defeat Alvarez; in fact, it may result in a punishing defeat.
Canelo Alvarez vs John Ryder boxing prediction and best bet
Prediction: Alvarez ML
Alvarez is getting a soft touch here compared to his recent fights.
Questions should linger about his hand injury, but if the likes of Golovkin and Caleb Plant couldn’t take advantage of that, neither will Ryder. It isn’t like Alvarez to get overwhelmed by a particular moment, though he might have additional motivation to put on a good show.
As much as Ryder deserves the fight, he won’t come close to winning it. We’re going with Alvarez to start off 2023 with a win.
Prediction: Alvarez moneyline (-1,600 at DraftKings)
Best Bet: Over 8.5 rounds
Alvarez's average fight time in rounds above middleweight is 9.3 rounds, and Ryder has only one KO loss in 37 fights. Since it takes Alvarez a few rounds to download his opponent before doing his best work counterpunching, we feel like we can rule out an early stoppage. At the same time, Ryder is going to make himself vulnerable to Canelo's bodywork by always trying to fight inside.
Unless Alvarez feels like he's got Ryder reeling, he'll be comfortable carrying him into the later rounds where he might score a stoppage. If he doesn't feel like he needs to, Alvarez is smart enough not to tempt fate and let the judges call it for him.
Because of that, we're picking the fight to go Over 8.5 rounds as our best bet of the night.
Prediction: Over 8.5 rounds (-120 at DraftKings)