(Guadalajara) He only missed a K.-O. to make his night perfect: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, returning 11 years later to his home in Mexico, handily defeated John Ryder by unanimous decision to remain the undisputed super middleweight champion, in front of some 55,000 spectators in fury.
The 32-year-old Mexican, who retains his WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF and Ring belts, was logically given the winner by the three judges (120-107, 118-109, 118-109). He now has 59 wins (including 39 before the limit, two draws and two defeats) to his name.
“He was a tough, tenacious fighter. I’m not surprised, I respect him a lot for that,” Alvarez responded, saying “happy with this fight.”
It will still leave him with a little taste of unfinished, because, despite his best efforts, “Canelo” could not finish the job as he would have hoped in front of his fans, who had welcomed him as their king, as he enters the Akron stadium in Guadalajara, his hometown, on this national holiday weekend.
The Briton John Ryder, who will therefore have attended two coronations for the price of one on the same day, with that of Charles III at Westminster Abbey, has indeed worked with all his heart to go as far as end of the twelve times.
And it was not easy, because the Mexican’s right hurt him several times. In the 3rd round, his nose exploded under a powerful blow, only to stop bleeding from the fight, then he was sent to the ground for the first time, in the 5th, on a superb left-right sequence.
Ryder struggled to get up, before the end of the referee’s count, and we thought then that the end was near. But he was tough on evil and did not hide afterwards to avoid confrontation, not hesitating to attack, even if it meant taking a lot in return.
It was on a counter, in a right hook, that “Canelo” also sent him back to the mat in the 8th round, before the Briton was saved by the gong by getting up. Painful, but not so much as to affect his steely mind, for he threw himself headlong into battle again, his swollen face turning purple in bloody streaks.
In the last round, understanding that he would not succeed in knocking out the knockout. Wanted, “Canelo” banged his two gloves together in anger, while Ryder continued to put all his heart into finishing on his feet, even though it was inevitably going to end for him in a 6th defeat in 38 fights. .
Long considered the best boxer in all categories, the Mexican showed that he had turned the page after a complicated year 2022, marked by a second failed foray into light heavyweight, three years after a first victorious where he had won the WBO belt.
In Las Vegas, he had come up against the solidity and very intelligent boxing of Russian Dmitri Bivol, who, by unanimous decision of the judges, had retained his WBA title. His second defeat, nine years after his loss against the American Floyd Mayweather.
A revenge is also desired by “Canelo”, who reiterated it in the ring: “everyone knows that I want Bivol”.
He needs a challenge greater than that offered by the competition in the super-middleweights, whose titles he unified in November 2021. His 40-year-old Kazakh rival, Gennady Golovkin, could not worried about their third fight last September, after a controversial draw and a sluggish victory.
But Alvarez was not convinced and some were considering a possible end to his reign, especially since he has since undergone surgery on his left hand to treat a ligament problem.
This time was much better, but still not quite the lethal “Canelo” that has long ruled the ring.