John Ryder has admitted he “panicked” after feeling blood trickle down his throat having sustained a broken nose in his defeat to Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night in Guadalajara. The Mexican champion defended his undisputed super-middleweight crown on points despite a valiant display from Ryder at Estadio Akron, who suffered a broken nose during the fight, and was left hampered as a result.
Alvarez dominated the fight and dropped Ryder in round five, but the Londoner managed to stay in the fight despite being knocked down. In the end, the Mexican fighter – buoyed by 50,000 fans inside the arena – won by unanimous decision with the judges handing him a victory with scorecards of 120-107, 118-109 and 118-109.
With his latest win, Canelo retains his undisputed super-middleweight championship title after the 32-year-old secured his 59th career win since turning professional.
But for Ryder, 34, it was his sixth loss in 38 bouts and he has now twice failed to win at the world title level, having lost out in 2019 to compatriot Callum Smith when competing for the WBA ‘Super’ title.
“I thought I was having it all my way, last one to go round [landed] right on the nose and it really took me out of my stride for the last few rounds,” Ryder told DAZN.
“I saw the final bell, stopped feeling sorry for myself after round eight and dug deep but listen, he’s a really great fighter and it’s not the result I hoped for.
“Last shot of the second round, I stepped back and went forward a bit, threw the uppercut and we worked on that 100 times. I thought the bell was about to go and took the slip out and he landed it. 20 odd years in boxing and I’ve never broken my nose like that.
“It was panic stations because there was blood going down my throat, but I’ve got a great corner that kept me calm.
“When I got knocked down, it’s all about experience and that’s why I’ve got a great team around me to tell me to do these things. I had a clear enough head to take their instructions. I came back firing and did that.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn praised Ryder’s performance but hinted there was some inevitability about Alvarez’s win.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “John showed he was a world-class fighter but Canelo is one of the best ever. John deserves massive respect tonight.”
After the fight, Alvarez echoed Hearn’s sentiments with praise for Ryder and vowed to beat the Russian Dmitry Bivol next if terms can be arranged.
“It was a historic moment for me, I’m glad to be here with my people,” he said. “He’s [Ryder] a very strong fighter and you know he’s going to turn it on, it can be difficult. But I’ve been in this sport a long time and I know my opponents will come at me with everything.
“I think I got him [hurt], but I’m happy with the fight, my people had a great fight. He’s a strong fighter, I know that.
“[Being in Guadalajara] feels different, I feel responsibility for my people to perform and that moment [when he won] was very special for me. It feels different, I’m very glad to be here.”
When quizzed about Bivol, he added: “Everybody knows we want Bivol, but if the fight with Bivol happens? We see. I’m ready to fight anyone. We’ll see. Same fight, same everything.”