Canelo Alvarez fails to stop resilient John Ryder but wins wide decision
Canelo Alvarez didn’t give his fans what they wanted but he still took a step forward.
The undisputed 168-pound champion put challenger John Ryder down but he couldn’t take out the bloody, but resilient Englishman, instead settling for a unanimous decision victory in his homecoming fight Saturday near Guadalajara, Mexico.
The official scores were 120-107, 118-109 and 118-109. Boxing Junkie scored it 117-110 for Alvarez, nine rounds to three.
CANELO ALVAREZ GETS THE WIN OVER JOHN RYDER IN MEXICO! 🇲🇽#CaneloRyder pic.twitter.com/2hmWcj2B8Z
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 7, 2023
“He’s a strong fighter, man,” said Alvarez, referring to Ryder. “When they come for everything, they become more difficult. I’ve been in this position a long time. I never underestimate an opponent because I know they’re coming for everything.
“… He’s a strong fighter. I knew that. I’m not surprised.”
Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) was fighting in his hometown for the first time since 2011, which he acknowledged afterward put added pressure on his shoulders.
He also was coming off surgery late last year to repair an injured left wrist, although he became convinced that it had fully healed after throwing it – particularly to the body – over the first few rounds of the fight Saturday.
Still, he demonstrated once again that even a good, rugged fighter like Ryder will be hard-pressed to give Alvarez a genuine challenge.
Alvarez began pressuring Ryder early in the fight and never relented, pounding the challenger to the body with his left and to the head with his right while Ryder tried to match his output and not get hit with any big bombs.
Of course, that’s next to impossible, as we found out in Round 5. Alvarez put Ryder down and might’ve broken his nose in Round 5 with a perfect left-right combination. It wasn’t clear during the count whether the dazed, bloodied Ryder would be able to get up but he did.
And he gutted out the rest of the round, clearly demonstrating that he had no intention of quitting at any time in the fight.
Ryder actually had some decent rounds after that. He largely matched Alvarez’s work rate and avoided more damaging blows, although the fact he could never hurt the champion made his mission next to impossible.
Then came another harrowing moment in Round 9. Alvarez rocked Ryder with a right hand to the head and followed with a flurry of punches that had referee Michael Griffin thinking hard about stopping the fight.
However, once again, the tough Londoner managed to survive and then continue to fight back with stunning determination.
Alvarez tried one more time to finish the job in the 12th and final round, when at one point he pounded his gloves together in an attempt to get Ryder into one final firefight but the final bell sounded with the challenger standing on his feet.
If the champion was disappointed that he couldn’t put Ryder away, he hid it well. He said simply, “I’m happy with the fight.”
He was ecstatic that he could perform in front of 50,000 of his devoted fans at Estadio Akron, a stadium normally used for the professional soccer teams in the area.
“This was a historic moment for me,” he said. “I’m blessed to be here with my people. Like I always said, the people who have supported me from the beginning. I’m glad to be here. I’m very thankful to my people.”
More history could lie ahead.
Alvarez is only two fights removed from one of the most disappointing nights of his career, a unanimous decision loss to 175-pound champion Dmitry Bivol in May of last year.
He has made it clear that he wants the opportunity to avenge the setback in September. However, he and the Russian star will have to work out some details. Bivol wants to move down in weight and fight for the undisputed 168-pound championship while Alvarez wants to fight again at 175 so he can reverse the earlier outcome.
Alvarez could end up getting his way given his clout.
“Everybody knows I want a rematch with Bivol,” he said. “If the Bivol fight doesn’t happen, we’ll see. I’m happy to fight anybody. I want the same rules, the same terms, the same everything [for a second fight with Bivol].”
He was asked, “Why?”
“I just want it that way.”
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