By: Hans Themistode
With Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders squabbling over the size of the ring, their showdown, which was due to take place this coming Saturday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas, is in serious jeopardy.
Realizing that the entire event could go down the drain, super middleweight contender John Ryder has thrown on his cape in an effort to save the day.
In fact, Ryder is currently flying out to Dallas as we speak.
“I was always due to go out to Dallas,” said Ryder to Sky Sports. “Eddie wanted me to get out there and do a bit of promotion, for my up and coming fight in June, so I was always heading out there. But I mean if he gives me the call, I’ll pack the gum shield and protector.”
Issues between Alvarez and Saunders came to light earlier this week. The British product was initially under the impression that their unification contest would take place in a 24 ft ring. Yet, the moment Saunders and his team were given the opportunity to examine the ring up close, they quickly realized that it was significantly smaller.
According to Tom Saunders, father of Billy Joe, team Alvarez produced an 18 ft ring. Once he balked at the idea of his son stepping into such a small ring, team Alvarez offered to increase the size by 2 ft. Still, a 20 ft ring was unsatisfactory to team Saunders. While they were of the belief that their showdown would take place in a 24 ft ring, Tom stated that at minimum, the ring would have to measure at least 22 ft. Once broached with the idea, team Alvarez grew apoplectic and gave Saunders only one option.
“They’ve said it’s either 20 foot or book your flights home,” said Tom Saunders during an interview with IFL TV. “He (Billy Joe Saunders) wants to go home. We’re not going to take this bullshit anymore.”
Regardless of team Saunders standing their ground and threatening to walk, Ryder believes that their contest is simply too close to fall apart now.
“I think it’s smoke and mirrors. I think he’s going to get what he wants. You don’t come this far in a fight to let it go at the last minute, because of a couple of foot. It’s something that should have been settled at the start of negotiations. One of the first things. Sort out your purse, sort out the ring, sort out whether you are walking first or second, or whatever. It should have been tied up ages ago.”
For Ryder, the super middleweight contender was lauded for his efforts against then, WBC titlist Callum Smith in November of 2019. While he came up short on the scorecards, many who watched their contest believed he did more than enough to walk away with the win.
Given how much Ryder enjoys getting into a brawl, the smaller ring wouldn’t be an issue for him. And, more importantly, he’d be willing to step in to save the day as long as he’s compensated for it.
“Listen, I’d do it outside the pub on a Saturday night for free, so put a bit of financial motivation behind it, definitely.”