Canelo Alvarez and John Ryder are in the process of finalizing a deal for an undisputed super middleweight championship fight on May 6, sources told ESPN.
The site has not been finalized yet, sources said, but the bout is expected to land in Jalisco, Mexico, which would deliver a long-awaited homecoming fight for boxing’s top star.
Alvarez is from the capital of Jalisco, Guadalajara. Akron Stadium, a soccer venue with a capacity of 46,000-plus, is the front-runner, according to ESPN Deportes’ Salvador Rodriguez, although three other venues in Jalisco are possibilities, including Jalisco Stadium.
The bout will be Canelo’s first in Mexico since 2011, when he defeated Kermit Cintron to retain his 154-pound title. That bout was in Mexico City. Alvarez hasn’t competed in Guadalajara since 2010, before he won his first championship.
Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs) will step inside the ropes for the first time since he underwent left wrist surgery in October. The procedure followed Canelo’s win over Gennadiy Golovkin in September to close out their trilogy.
The injury also hampered him in an upset loss to Dmitry Bivol in May at 175 pounds, Alvarez’s first defeat since he was routed by Floyd Mayweather in 2013. The 32-year-old is ESPN’s No. 5 pound-for-pound boxer.
Ryder, a 34-year-old Londoner, will be a major underdog in his second world-title opportunity. He was on the wrong end of a controversial decision when he challenged Callum Smith for his 168-pound title in 2019.
Since the defeat, Ryder has won four straight. His most recent two victories came against Daniel Jacobs and Zach Parker last year, in February and November, respectively. The victory over Jacobs was a tight decision, while Parker retired on his stool with a broken hand following Round 4.
Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) won the vacant WBO interim title when he defeated Parker, so Canelo could be in a position to fulfill one of the obligations for the four 168-pound titles he possesses. Ryder, a pressure-fighting southpaw, is ESPN’s No. 4 super middleweights.
Alvarez, meanwhile, hopes for a rematch with Bivol in September, but this time at 168 pounds for his undisputed championship. Bivol has expressed a willingness to drop down in weight, so the bout could materialize once Alvarez pushes past Ryder as expected.
Canelo is a promotional and network free agent, but he’ll be fighting for Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing on DAZN for the third consecutive outing.