John Ryder won the WBO interim super-middleweight title when Zach Parker withdrew with a hand injury after four rounds; Ryder believes the interim belt will put him in line to challenge the undisputed champion, Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez
Saturday 26 November 2022 23:45, UK
John Ryder won the WBO interim super-middleweight title when Zach Parker was forced to withdraw after four rounds of their clash at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday.
Parker sustained an injury to his hand at the start of the fourth round that ultimately prevented him from continuing with the bout.
It was a bitterly disappointing end to the contest for Parker.
"I'm absolutely gutted," Parker said. "He's obviously a good lad, he'll go on and do good things in boxing. I'll come back stronger.
"It started warming up into being a good fight, but all the best to John."
It was not the way Ryder wanted to win. He reflected, "I felt like the tide started to turn and I was getting more on top. Listen, these things happen in boxing. It was a bad injury for him but it feels like half a robbery of a win for me. It's one of those things."
Ryder has not boxed since picking up a good points victory over Daniel Jacobs in February. This result catapults him back into contention on the world scene at 168lbs.
Canelo Alvarez remains the undisputed champion at super-middleweight. He is recovering from injury after his successful defence of the unified WBO, WBA, WBC and IBF 168lb titles against Gennadiy Golovkin in September.
Ryder is hoping the interim belt which he now holds will put him in line to challenge to the Mexican superstar next year.
"I want the big guns now. I want the Canelo fight. In this career that's the icing on the cake," Ryder said.
"I'm standing pretty now. It would be a dream to fight Canelo, on Cinco de Mayo, whenever, wherever.
"Whether it be fighting Canelo or being upgraded to full champion so be it. There are still great fights out there for me."