Saul Alvarez faces a British boxer for the eighth time in his storied career this Saturday. ‘Canelo’ will defend his undisputed super middleweight championship against mandatory challenger John Ryder. The bout is Alvarez’s first in his home country of Mexico since a 2011 stoppage victory over Kermit Cintron.
‘Canelo’ has an impeccable record against British opposition, going 8-0 with four stoppages. All of these victories have come in world title bouts. Ryder will fancy his chances against the great Mexican, but history is most certainly not on his side.
Here’s a rundown of the great Brits who have fallen to ‘Canelo’.
UD12 Matthew Hatton, 05/03/11
The brother of Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton, Matthew was a fine boxer in his own right. The younger Hatton was the reigning European champion at the time of this meeting with an embryonic ‘Canelo’. He gave a good account of himself too, looking surprisingly durable up against the already-sickening shots of the Mexican, who was barely out of his teens. The scores were wide but Hatton did himself proud.
TKO12 Ryan Rhodes, 18/06/11
Having unsuccessfully challenged for Otis Grant’s WBO middleweight title back in 1997, Ryan Rhodes must have felt his time at world level might be behind him. The fact he was stood across from WBC super welterweight champion Alvarez 14 years later was a testament to an incredible run of form. But ‘Canelo’ doesn’t deal in fairytales and while Rhodes was brave, he scarcely won a minute of the fight before being stopped in the final round.
KO6 Amir Khan, 07/05/16
“How will ‘Canelo’ deal with the fastest man he’s ever faced?” was the question ahead of this WBC middleweight title showdown. For five rounds, the answer was “not well”. Khan outboxed and out-hustled the Mexican, evoking memories of the masterful display Floyd Mayweather had managed against him three years before. But when the knockout came it was brutal. Alvarez reminded us all of his power, and Khan’s suspect chin, with a chilling sixth-round finish.
KO9 Liam Smith, 17/09/16
Not content to deal with one British fighter in 2016, ‘Canelo’ squared off with another in WBO super welterweight king Liam Smith. ‘Beefy’, the fighting pride of Liverpool, showed plenty of resilience and toughness. Smith got home some promising shots in the early going, but was eventually ground down and taken out in the ninth round.
TKO3 Rocky Fielding, 15/12/18
‘Canelo’ aimed to become a world champion in a third weight class when he took on WBA ‘regular’ boss Rocky Fielding. ‘Rocky from Stocky’ had shocked Germany’s Tyron Zeuge last time out to lift the title, scoring a fifth-round knockout. But Fielding was all out of miracles when he met Alvarez at Madison Square Garden. ‘Canelo’ triumphed in three brutal rounds.
UD12 Callum Smith, 19/12/20
Not content with pursuing a fistic vendetta against Great Britain as a whole, ‘Canelo’ added another Smith brother to his collection in 2020. Having knocked out Liam, Alvarez would take on WBA and The Ring super middleweight champion Callum. Many favoured the Brit in this one given his size and power. But Alvarez had too much for the Liverpudlian over the course of 12 rounds. Smith now campaigns up at light heavyweight.
RTD8 Billy Joe Saunders, 08/05/21
‘Canelo’ met Saunders on the road to the undisputed super middleweight championship. The Mexican was already in possession of the WBC, WBA and The Ring titles at this point. It would take him eight rounds to annex Saunders’ WBO strap. The crowd of 73,126 at AT&T Stadium in Texas was an indoor record for boxing.
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