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Boxing: Canelo Alvarez wants to avenge Dmitry Bivol defeat

Canelo Alvarez has set his sights on a rematch with WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol after coasting to a unanimous decision victory over John Ryder.

Following an eight-month absence from the ring after undergoing surgery on his left hand, Alvarez showed the world that he still has plenty to offer.

In front of 50,000 Mexican fans, Alvarez put on a dominant display to defend his undisputed super-middleweight status at Estadio Akron.

A homecoming to remember

After losing on a unanimous decision to Bivol for the WBA light heavyweight belt in May 2022 - just the second defeat of Alvarez's career after also going down to Floyd Mayweather in 2013 - some had suggested that the exciting Mexican could potentially be on the way down.

His performance, albeit when earning victory, against Gennady Golovkin in September 2022 also didn't do much to silence his critics.

However, the 32-year-old put on a boxing clinic against spirited Briton Ryder to delight a raucous home crowd in Guadalajara, just 25 miles from Juanacatlan - the small town where he grew up.

The night was billed as the 'King is Coming Home' as Alvarez stepped into the ring in his home country for the first time since 2011.

Classy Canelo in full control

It was clear from the outset that Alvarez meant business as the home favourite utilised his trademark body shots, digging in with left hooks, to set his stall out in round one.

Alvarez used a good variation of shots, keeping Ryder on his toes, and the Londoner's nose was broken in the third round, leaving him bloodied for the rest of the contest.

Ryder was continuously forced back by Alvarez's relentless pressure as the contest developed and the challenger hit the canvas in round five following a left-right combination.

He went down again in the eighth round but that was deemed a slip before Alvarez put his foot on the gas in round nine.

The referee appeared primed to step in as the combinations continued to flow but Ryder showed guts to stick in there and eventually go the distance.

The result was comprehensive with two judges scoring it 118-109 and the other 120-107 - all in Alvarez's favour.

"I hit him too much in the head and he did not go down," Canelo said at ringside after the fight. "I've always said it, when they fight me, they give their 100 per cent, it gets complicated because they usually give me the fight of their lives."

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What's next for Alvarez?

Alvarez doesn't have many wrongs to right in his 63-fight career with just two losses on his record.

Of course, the ship has sailed with Mayweather after the American stepped into retirement with a 50-0 record after beating Conor McGregor in 2017.

But the Mexican has made it clear that he wants to avenge his defeat to Bivol last year.

Alvarez said: "That's what we are aiming for, but we will see.

"Same rules, same terms, same everything."

It has been suggested that Alvarez and Bivol could square off in September but negotiations are yet to begin.

Another potential option is a bout with former world champion David Benavidez, who is undefeated and boasts 23 knockout wins from 27 fights.

Benavidez is the WBC's mandatory challenger for Alvarez following his win over Caleb Plant in March and he has already confirmed a desire to face the champion.

What's next for Ryder?

Ryder, a two-time WBO interim super-middleweight champion was seeking a place in history when he stepped into the ring with the legendary Alvarez.

Victory would have seen him become the first male English boxer to become undisputed champion in the four-belt era.

However, it was a huge ask for the 34-year-old and he wasn't able to match the levels of his rival.

Seeing it through to the final bell earns Ryder plenty of credit and should see him remain in contention for some big-name fights.

Promoter Eddie Hearn claims there are plenty of opportunities both domestically and in the United States.

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