Canelo Alvarez went home Saturday night. In front of a large Guadalajara audience, the undisputed super middleweight world champion defended his crown in the city of his birth and upbringing. Canelo’s opponent was 32-5 Londoner John Ryder. The night, however, belonged to the hometown hero of 58-2-2.
Looking lean and confident, the defending champion kept a high guard and kept Ryder’s form landing effectively in the first. Canelo also put some use to the midsection with his famous body shots during the opening chapter. The defending champion continued to work on his body in the second. Ryder, for his part, focused on finding openings. A jab from Canelo early in the third resulted in Ryder’s nosebleeding. The Englishman was in the game, but didn’t seem strong enough to hurt his man.
That said, Ryder had a fourth-best finish. He was active and used good footwork. A nice straight forehand put Ryder in fifth place. With a bloodied face, the challenger managed to beat the count. To his credit, Ryder then aggressively shot the mighty Canelo. Tellingly, Canelo didn’t bother picking up his stool between rounds.
Ryder fought aggressively in the sixth, but his punches seemed to have no effect. However, the man was able to land clean shots on Canelo. Ryder was, however, VERY beat up and Canelo was shooting clean shots at him. Ryder fought ferociously in the seventh, but his balance seemed off. Perhaps he had suffered a concussion.
In the eighth it was clear that Canelo was aiming for the knockout. Every punch was loaded with bad intentions. It seemed, however, that Ryder would have to be temporarily removed from consciousness of him if the fight was to be stopped early. True, Ryder hit the canvas again late in the round, but it was just a slip.
Canelo beat Ryder to wobbly legs in ninth. The fighter was literally tripping, but kept throwing punches. Also, Ryder survived the round. Ryder then moved on and landed some sharp jabs in the tenth, which at that point in the fight was extremely impressive. Though beaten to a pulp, the man was determined to try and win.
Ryder moved well in the eleventh while Canelo decided to be patient with his man. Was Canelo running out of energy or just picking his shots with more discernment? The twelfth and final round saw a slower Canelo and a still-in-match Ryder trade blows. If Ryder had more power in his punches it would have been interesting to see how the fight would have gone.
Regardless, Canelo was awarded a unanimous decision after the final bell, courtesy of the judges.