JOHN RYDER is dreaming of pulling off one of the biggest upsets in British boxing history.
The 10-1 outsider takes on undisputed super-middleweight king Canelo Alvarez in Mexico on Saturday night with only 50 out of the 60,000 fans there cheering on the Islington southpaw.
If 34-year-old Ryder achieves the impossible by winning the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO and The Ring titles, it would rank alongside previous feats overseas by legends such as Ken Buchanan, John H Stracey and Lloyd Honeyghan.
And it would be some achievement for the boxer who worked as a bouncer at East London nightclubs in 2017 after a couple of defeats left him languishing.
With typical understatement, Ryder said: “I know it’s going to be hostile. But to go and fight a champion, you should go to their backyard to take their titles and that’s what I am doing.
“Most fighters have gone to Vegas or Texas to fight him but I’m in Guadalajara in the lion’s den.
“People think I am here for the paycheck, I am not. I am here to show that dreams can come true.”
Canelo, 32, has lost just two of his 62 fights with 39 knockouts while Stracey, now 72, remains the only Brit to ever win a world title in Mexico after he stunned Jose Napoles in 1975.
Over pie and mash in Camden, Stracey told Ryder: “We boxed in the biggest bullring in the world, probably around 40,000 people.
“Just before my ringwalk they put me right next to where the bulls were kept and the smell was awful!
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“I am sure they were trying to put me off. It was hostile, they wanted their man to win and you’ll get that, too.
“It can be daunting and frightening but boxers don’t get frightened.”
Ryder, who has won 32 of his 37 pro bouts, promised Stracey he would not be overawed by facing Canelo.
He said: “I have met him a couple of times but that was with a fan-boy cap on.
“The respect is there but it is not going to be handshakes and selfies, I am here to do a job.”